Esworthy: Lower property taxes for all Johnson City residents

By Kelly McCarthy

October 15, 2013 Updated Oct 15, 2013 at 5:29 PM EST

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A candidate running for Johnson City mayor says he wants to be known as the mayor that lowers property taxes.

Democrat Barrett Esworthy said in previous news conferences how he wants to create a tax-free zone for businesses, and offer incentives for first-time home buyers. Now he's saying another piece to his puzzle is lowering property taxes for everyone in Johnson City.

If elected in November, Esworthy said his first budget will include an across-the-board tax cut of five percent, and says he will keep that rate for at least the next three years.

Esworthy believes raising property taxes should be something used only as a last resort and wants to look for other areas to use as the main source of revenue.

"Too often when expenses rise and rise and rise for villages like Johnson City," Esworthy said, "The knee jerk reaction is simply just raise the property taxes, always put this burden on the shoulders of property tax payers, we can't think that way anymore."

Esworthy agrees that if less revenue is coming into the city, some expenses will have to be cut.

"Johnson City pays out for a water department, fire department, police department, village court," Esworthy said, "All of these things have to be on the table as something we consider for potential consolidation or more shared services."

Esworthy says he will also look toward sales taxes, different business taxes and income taxes as a revenue source.

Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie was asked to comment his thoughts regarding this issue and has not yet responded.