The Important Role of Our Tax Receiver

There was a letter published recently in the Star-Review regarding a grassroots effort to eliminate the receiver of taxes position in the Cicero Town Hall. The claim suggests that this would lower our taxes.

We (myself as supervisor, our comptroller and the 2017 town board) looked at consolidating the tax office into the town clerk’s office after our former tax receiver retired. We chose not to.

We found no savings. The town of Cicero collects taxes for the village of North Syracuse, four school districts, including our own North Syracuse Central School District, and for the town of Cicero and Onondaga County.

If the elected position is eliminated, the town still has a legal requirement to continue collecting those taxes. In other words, there would be no further reduction in cost beyond what current Receiver of Taxes Nicole Walsh has achieved these past months.

Since May 1, 2017, Tax Receiver Nicole Walsh has eliminated a full time deputy position, has instituted E-Pay, and has entered into an inter-municipal agreement with Onondaga County to have the county print our tax bills for an additional savings of $14,000 in 2018. Our tax office has agreed to further work with the county by agreeing to be a beta site for an integrated tax collection software program with the county which may further reduce our cost.

The annual cost to operate the tax office equates to $10.80 per year on an average $150,000 home.

By making this an appointed position, the cost (as estimated by our town comptroller) will be $10.80 per year on an average $150,000 home which equals a zero tax saving.

What it does do is eliminate the voter’s right to replace the tax receiver at their will and make the position an appointed position which could lead to political cronyism in Cicero Town Hall.

Further, the referendum cannot be placed on a regular ballot in November but would require a special referendum that could cost us about $36,000.

Mark Venesky
Supervisor, Town of Cicero

(This letter was published in the Star-Review on June 30, 2018.)

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