After hearing from residents and expressing their own concerns, City Council members have agreed to delay voting on a proposal that would extend payments Hobart and William Smith Colleges makes to Geneva to help pay for the cost of city services.
Under the proposal, HWS “donations” to the city would go from $220,000 in 2022 to $258,000 in the last year of the proposed agreement, 2031. Under the previously approved plan, HWS paid the city $160,000 in 2012, and then the amount gradually rose to about $191,000 in the last year of the 10-year pact, 2021.
The original agreement was developed in the face of a potential legal challenge to City Council’s approval of a Transportation Benefit Assessment District, approved in 2011, which would have required all city properties, both taxable and tax-exempt, to pay a fee toward the $2 million cost of maintaining city streets.
It was part of an effort to find ways to generate additional revenue in a city where some 60 percent of the property is off the tax rolls, resulting in the highest property tax rate in the county.