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Ithaca Town Board at odds over TCAT contribution

Ithaca Town Board members discussed the town's spending plan for 2014, along with its potential decision to eliminate its annual contribution to TCAT, Inc./Pete Blanchard

Ithaca Town Board at odds over TCAT contribution

The Ithaca Town Board Thursday discussed its spending plan for 2014, with the conversation turning to whether or not the town should continue its yearly $50,000 contribution to TCAT.

The proposed budget includes a 3.85 percent increase in the tax levy, which would result in in an increase of $14 in property taxes for the average homeowner in the town.

The town has set aside funds for Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Inc. since 2009, but has not included it in the proposed 2014 budget, citing their own financial concerns.

Some board members spoke in favor of a plan that would tie the town’s contribution to guaranteed representation on the TCAT’s board of directors.

Ithaca Town Supervisor Herb Engman said that until the town gets something in return, he feels they should discontinue the aid.

“What we need is some direct benefit from the contribution…every time we’ve requested something, we’ve been told ‘No,’” Engman said. “After awhile, you sort of say, ‘Why are we doing this anymore?’”

As it stands now, the 2014 budget does not include funding for TCAT, a decision that could change as budget negotiations continue.

Town board members decided Thursday to gather more feedback from the public before they make a final decision.

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