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2017 proposed budget will be available to Schenectady residents

City Council President Leesa Perazzo, seen here in June, has said on multiple occasions that she’s committed to a tax cut of at least 5 percent for residents in the 2017 budget.
Photographer: Ryan Zidek
City Council President Leesa Perazzo, seen here in June, has said on multiple occasions that she’s committed to a tax cut of at least 5 percent for residents in the 2017 budget.
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— Schenectady residents will have a chance Oct. 11 to chime in on the city’s proposed 2017 budget after the spending plan is officially approved at the council’s Monday meeting.

Councilors are expecting the new budget to include a tax cut.

Mayor Gary McCarthy is required to present the city’s 2017 budget on or before Oct. 1. City leaders have said they hope to use revenue from the new Rivers Casino and Resort to reduce property taxes.

The issue of tax cuts was raised again in recent weeks, as the City Council discussed whether to tap the casino windfall to pay for a new labor agreement with the Police Benevolent Association. The majority of councilors favored using money from the city’s general fund to cover the unanticipated contract costs, saying they had promised taxpayers the casino money would be used to reduce their burden.

McCarthy said in December that he anticipated residents could see as much as a 10 percent reduction in property taxes in 2017.

City Council President Leesa Perazzo has said on multiple occasions that she’s committed to a tax cut of at least 5 percent for residents.

Comments received during the public hearing would be considered during the council’s Oct. 17 committee meeting. Councilors would then consider adoption of the budget during their Oct. 24 meeting.

The Rivers Casino and Resort is scheduled to open along Erie Boulevard in early 2017. The city received $2.5 million from the casino’s licensing fee.

The casino is also projected to provide $4.1 million each year to the city and the county.

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