Emotions ran high on Monday night as neighbors voiced their frustrations over a 22% property tax increase. Many got their bills in the mail on Saturday, and saw the increase.
Lisa Somers lives and works in East Syracuse, and sees the increase as something that will seriously hurt the village.
"Nobody is going to want to move into the village, and nobody is going to be able to move out because nobody's going to buy their house," said Somers. "There's already a ton of empty businesses on Manlius Street. You're not going to fill those buildings with a 22% tax increase."
Nathan Andrews runs Morris Manufacturing Company, a family-owned business that's been in East Syracuse for 60 years. The business is expanding, but he fears the tax increase will force the company to expand outside the village.
"I'd love to see it continue to be here in East Syracuse," said Andrews. "We've been a part of this community for a long time. But a 24% increase is really hard to swallow. It's not a friendly pat on the back."
Many who voiced their opinions at the meeting felt the tax increase was a result of failing to consolidate the village's police department with the Town of DeWitt's police department. Several suggested voting on the decision again.
East Syracuse Police Chief Donald Morris said the tax increase is a village issue, not a police issue. He said the department cut $55,000 since last year, and is not responsible for the increase.
Mayor Robert Tackman hopes to see a lower increase next year. "I can't tell you how much I wish it could be less," Tackman said, speaking at the meeting. "But we're going to everything we can to make sure that next year when they [tax bills] hit your doorsteps, they're different."