The Ithaca City School District is considering imposing a new sales tax on utilities to maintain the quality of educational programming in the district. The tax would hit electricity, natural gas and phone bills and, according to New York law, can be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Education. A public hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13 to gather input from community members.
Residents who live within the Ithaca City School District already pay a 4% tax on home energy sources including natural gas, propane, electricity, steam, oil, coal and wood used for heating. (City of Ithaca residents pay a city tax; outside the city, Tompkins County collects the tax.) The school district is allowed to levy an additional 0.5-3% tax on natural gas, propane, electricity and steam.