Local

State approves mortgage tax increase to fund TCAT

Tompkins County has received state authorization to use an increase in the mortgage recording tax to fund the ailing local transit service TCAT.

The quarter-percent increase would bring the total mortgage tax, a one time tax on the value of a mortgage levied at the time of closing, to one percent, and is projected to raise $750,000 annually.

TCAT Board Chair Jennifer Dotson says the extra funds are greatly needed.

The money would go towards maintaining TCAT’s fleet, which is beginning to wear down as ridership increases in the County.

Dotson says TCAT will still deal with filling a funding gap, as most transit services similar in size across the country have three times the operating budget.

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O’Mara bill would allow NY farmers to grow hemp

State Senator Tom O'Mara speaks to area residents at a town hall meeting held at the Franziska Racker Centers in Ithaca, Wed. Feb. 12, 2014

State Senator Tom O’Mara has introduced a bipartisan bill that would allow farmers in the state to legally grow hemp.

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Chobani secures $750M investment from TPG

Hamid Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani, Inc., spoke to Ithaca College students Tuesday as part of an event sponsored by The Upstate Venture Capital Association of New York (UVANY)

Greek yogurt maker Chobani has secured a $750 million investment from investment firm TPG Capital.

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NY Fire companies seek volunteers

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Fire departments from around New York state are opening their doors this weekend as they look for new volunteer members.

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Cornell; ND to start $4.5M for study of “hope and optimism”

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$3.8 million is going to a partnership between Cornell University and Notre Dame to study “hope and optimism”.

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NY casino contenders face application fee deadline

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A state gambling panel will pick up to four winning applications in the fall.