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      Syracuse Common Council votes to raise city property taxes

      On Wednesday, the Syracuse Common Council voted unanimously to implement what its leaders call a "modest" 1.5% tax increase.

      The council says it expects the increase to bring in about $500,000 in additional revenue for the city. It would adds approximately $12 per year to the average homeowner's tax bill.

      The council says it will earmark the new money for public safety, road repair, and parks facilities. In a prepared statement, Majority Leader Helen Hudson said "We cannot keep cutting our way out of our problems. We have to pay for the fundamental needs of our city and invest in our future."

      Council members say the tax hike burden will be lessened, and in many cases eliminated because of the state's plan to issue tax rebates to homeowners. Based on the "property tax cap freeze" formula contained in the state budget, the average homeowner will receive approximately $30 from the state, which more than covers the increase in property taxes, the council said.

      Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner's office says the administration is currently evaluating the council's action. Miner could choose to veto the tax hike, although because the measure passed unanimously, that would not likely have any impact.