Tax levy must go down

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King deserves credit for proposing a 2014 city budget that carries a nearly 2 percent tax-levy decrease.

However, we challenge city officials to cut the tax levy more.

On Tuesday, King presented his $15.8 million proposed budget for 2014 to the Common Council. The budget seeks no layoffs or reductions in services and lowers the city tax rate a small amount – from $21.71 per $1,000 of assessed value to $21.31.

When reviewing the budget, council members should not hesitate to cut the tax levy further.

The budget includes some items we know are popular with many people, such as adding another police officer.

Of course, council members must weigh any proposed expenses against the fact Gloversville property owners pay the highest city tax rate in upstate New York, according to a report by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

City property owners with property in the Gloversville Enlarged School District pay a combined $52.70 per $1,000 of assessed value in city, school and county taxes.

Though more money is expected to come in from retail operations near the Walmart Supercenter, the council should be cautious about spending it on new programs, services or personnel. Lowering the tax levy should be a priority.