Property owners in Erie County may have to dig deeper into their pockets in 2010.

Erie County Executive Mark DiVecchio’s proposed 2010 general fund budget presented Thursday to Erie County Council calls for a property-tax increase.

DiVecchio’s proposed $90.5 million spending plan would raise taxes by 0.65, which means the owner of a property valued at $100,000 would pay about $69 more in 2010.

The tax hike would generate about $6.9 million in additional revenue for the county.

County Councilman David Mitchell, who represented the 6th District that covers southeastern Erie County, said council and the DiVecchio administration have been working on the budget for months.

“This comes as no surprise,” Mitchell said about the proposed tax increase. “We just don’t have a lot of fat to work with.”

Mitchell said the sluggish economy is not the only reason for the proposed tax hike.

The increase is being fueled in part by a $500,000 capital shortfall in operating expenses for Pleasant Ridge Manor and a projected liability of about $1 million in spending for public safety, he said.

Still, Mitchell said county residents may have to bite the bullet if they want to retain vital services, he said.

See the Journal's Friday, October 2nd edition for full story.

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