Tax reduction sorely needed

“We are going to decrease taxes next year.”

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King uttered those words to a reporter this week.

He’s singing a tune many Gloversville taxpayers want to hear. They’re paying an exorbitant tax rate.

In May, an Empire Center for New York State Policy report said Gloversville property owners pay the highest tax rate found in any city in the state.

Residents of the city and Gloversville Enlarged School District pay a combined city, school and Fulton County tax rate of $52.88 per $1,000 of assessed value, the study showed.

Gloversville property owners pay $21.71 per $1,000 of assessed value in city taxes and $9.71 per $1,000 in county taxes. Taxpayers in the Gloversville Enlarged School District pay $21.46 per $1,000.

Meanwhile, the city is at 92.7 percent of its constitutional taxing limit, according to a September report by the state comptroller’s office.

Hopefully, the mayor’s statement wasn’t just an empty election-year promise.

Whoever ends up as the city’s mayor next year should make lowering taxes a priority, as should the city council.

The city may be in a better position next year to lower the tax rate. A new Walmart store, scheduled to open in August, could bring in up to $800,000 in new sales tax revenue for the city, according to city officials. In addition, more businesses could spring up around the new Walmart, adding to the sales tax revenue.

Gloversville officials would be making a mistake if they were to use new revenue to spend more freely. Spending increases and higher taxes may provide some with short-term satisfaction. Lowering taxes would contribute to the long-term economic health of the city.

We hope Mayor King means what he says about a tax cut. We’d like to hear more municipal and school officials say they intend to do the same thing.