“I have good news and I have bad news,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster at the city’s state of the city.
The City of Niagara Falls has been losing money ever since the Seneca Nation stopped paying the state slot machine revenue.
The Seneca Nation says their contract with the state expired. New York State believes the contract lasts until 2023.
Amidst this back and forth is Niagara Falls. A city that relies on that casino money.
Mayor Dyster released his 2018 proposed budget, Friday. It’s the first proposed budget without casino money flowing in.
Simply, the mayor is proposing cuts and a tax increase. The new 2018 budget includes close to 10% in operation cost cuts. The mayor says the city will not layoff any workers. But, they will not fill a position after an employee leaves or retires.
Taxes would increase for everyone in the city. Homeowner’s tax rates would go up 2.6%. Non-homeowner’s taxes would increase 14%.
Dyster says it's not as bad as it sounds.
“Even at the end of the day, I think it's a very moderate tax increase. It corresponds, for example, significantly less than the rate of inflation. It's just not possible to run a government without getting additional revenue sometimes,” said Dyster.