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No property tax increase in proposed Cohoes budget

Kumi Tucker
Updated: September 23, 2020 07:26 PM
Created: September 23, 2020 06:34 PM

COHOES - The Local on Remsen Street in Cohoes just opened this month, offering fresh pastries and produce to boost small local farms. 

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"With different food shortages and so many people flocking to the larger retailers, we wanted to be able to provide somewhere smaller and safer to shop, also getting really healthy produce, and also supporting our local farmers," said owner Kelsey Knutsen.  
 
They sold 250 tomatoes on their very first day. 

Teta Marie's is a Lebanese restaurant that opened just last week on Ontario Street in Cohoes. 

They're serving up fresh Lebanese dishes.

"Today marks one week that we're open and it's been fabulous," said owner Brenda Hage. "Our first day, we sold out by 1:00, the second day by 2:30, and it's just continuous prep for the next day."

It's one of many that have recently invested in Cohoes, and that's just what city leaders want to hear. 

New businesses like this are a bright spot on the horizon. 

These days, revenue is down, state aid withheld, and cities everywhere are feeling the pinch. 

However, the proposed city budget includes no increase in property tax rates. 

"We can't deficit spend, and I'm just not going to pass the problem down to the taxpayers," said Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler. "They are the individuals who are hurting right now. I recognize that government at every level is hurting, but the individual taxpayers are hurting and I'm just not going to pass the problem down to them.  We're just we're going to get leaner and more efficient." 

Cohoes has been finding savings where it can for a while now, and is taking more than usual out of its rainy day fund. 

"This year, we are using $950,000 because we needed to provide the taxpayers with a reasonable budget without raising their property taxes, because a lot of taxpayers are suffering as well," said City Comptroller Michael Durocher. 

"But as the year progresses and the aid may come in, we'll replenish that," said Mayor Keeler. "But that's what it's there for. If we don't tap the rainy day fund now, why do we even have one?"


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