One person showed up Tuesday to speak at the public hearing regarding the city of Oneonta’s proposed 2020 budget at City Hall.

The city is proposing a budget of $17,158,165, an increase of $1,271,043 from last year’s budget. Total general government appropriations are $3,133,755, an increase of $54,815 from last year. This includes a $13,350 increase in personnel costs from last 2019. 

Water and sewer rates will both go up 5% and public safety funds increased $521,986 from last year. The proposed tax levy for 2020 is $4,758,086, which is an increase of 1.75% from 2019’s tax levy, which was $4,676,252. 

Edward Palumbo, a retired Oneonta city resident, had objections about what he believed was a 2% increase in property taxes. Council Member Melissa Nicosia explained that the council did not agree on a 2% or more tax increase. 

“It’s 1.75, so on a $100,000 home it would be approximately $20.59 extra a year,” she said. 

Palumbo still objected. 

“Still, we as citizens of this community cannot afford it,” he said. “Most of us like myself are living below the poverty line. This is why I’m right now standing here in protest.”

The public hearing, which lasted around five minutes, was then closed. The council will vote on the budget at next week’s Common Council meeting Tuesday, Dec. 3. 

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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