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      Taxpayers appalled, ashamed of Cicero budget

      In a testy, split vote, town board members in Cicero rejected a budget plan that would have raised taxes by 2.75% and by default enacted a budget that will raise taxes a whopping 14%.

      In a three to two vote the Cicero Town Board rejected the proposed budget with a 2.75% property tax increase, which by subsequently put the preliminary spending plan into effect. That plan will cost taxpayers 14% more next year, that's an extra $44 a year for a homeowner with a $100,000 assessed home.

      "It's totally disgusting, I'm so upset, I can't begin to tell you how upset I am. They should have understood what they were doing. It's obvious they didn't understand," said taxpayer and former Supervisor Joan Kesel.

      But there is another twist, the state's new property tax cap prohibits anything more than a two percent increase

      "I'm flabbergasted," said current Supervisor Judy Boyke. "We will be functioning on that 2.75% (budget) but that extra money that taxpayers will have to pay, that will go into a like a savings account, for Mr. Corl's budget in the following year." Boyke voted to approve the budget that would raise taxes nearly 3%.

      Boyke says even though taxpayers will pay 14% more, the town will still operate on a bare bones budget which cuts deep. It takes out $400,000 from the highway department to pave roads and cuts from economic development projects.

      "Taxpayers are literally paying for services that they are not getting?," asked CNY Central Reporter Caitlin Nuclo "Well since this tax cap is so new, we need to seek out the advice as to what happens from the state comptrollers office," said Supervisor Elect Jim Corl.

      Corl is the next town supervisor and he was one of the no votes that lead to the double digit tax increase. Board Members Jessica Zambrano and Vernon Conway also voted against the budget.