League of Women Voters

Many citizens both urban and suburban believe our community should act as a regional entity. If you agree what services would the city give up under such a government structure? If you do not agree, why?

The biggest problem with fragmented jurisdictions and services is the de facto segregation of property tax bases and schools. The social problems and costs of poverty and unemployment get concentrated in the city where the tax base is limited by exemptions for the big non-profit institutions that are the region's major employers. Rather than transferring services piecemeal from the city to the county, we should move to a metropolitan government and school district that integrates our taxes, schools, and services under a more participatory and grassroots democratic structure of government.

The talk of a commuter tax or a tax on city employees who live outside the city has long been discussed. Do you believe this is a good way to increase revenue for the city services?

I support a progressive city income tax on city residents as well as on the over 60,000 commuters. Both residents and commuters should help pay for city services they use. With about 100,000 jobs in the city paying an average $37,000 for a payroll of $3.7 billion, an average tax of 1% would yield $37 million a year, well over the 3-year projection of average budget gaps of $24 million a year. A graduated income tax would be more progressive than raising local property taxes. It could be used for property tax relief if the state restores previously promised revenue sharing and school funding.

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@HowieHawkins tweeted this page. 2013-10-13 03:29:32 -0400
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League of Women Voters
Howie Hawkins is the 2017 Green candidate for Syracuse Mayor
Hawkins for Mayor