Ward I Commissioner Jon Howard glances up during discussion of an increase of the city's millage rate Tuesday night. Howard and Ward IV Commissioner Roger Marietta were the only two commissioners to vote against a 1.33 increase in the millage rate.
ALBANY ALBANY — The Albany City Commission voted 5-2 Tuesday to increase the property tax rate for city residents by 1.33 mills.
Commissioners Jon Howard and Roger Marietta voted against the measure, which will be used to fund the city’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
Before the vote, Marietta said he was hopeful that the city’s financial situation had improved more than had been expected and that a last-minute compromise could be reached to avoid a millage rate increase or to implement a smaller one.
“I just think there’s room for compromise here,” Marietta said.
Following Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Dorothy Hubbard said that she struggled with supporting any kind of tax increase, but said that after reviewing the city’s budget there “just was nothing else that could be done.”
“This isn’t something anyone wanted to do,” Hubbard said. “I’m hopeful that things will improve faster than we anticipate and that we can do like we’ve done in years past and roll it back.”
Commissioner Christopher Pike tweeted “tough decision to raise taxes” following the meeting.
Pike and Hubbard were joined by commissioners Tommie Postell, Bob Langstaff and Ivey Hines in approving the measure.
Only one person spoke at the City Commission’s last public hearing on the tax increase.
Former NAACP chapter president William Wright reiterated his call for commissioners to not increase the financial burden of the residents of the city, saying that between a total millage of nearly 40 mills and a 20 percent increase in rates from the Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission, the people of Albany had had enough.
“We’re overtaxed and overburdened,” Wright said.