Erie residents are still coming to terms with possible tax and fee increases proposed by Mayor Joe Schember.  He said the increases may be needed to balance next year's budget that currently has an $11 million deficit.

Today Erie News Now wanted to take a look at how much city residents may be paying next year compared to a couple of neighboring municipalities.  Will expenses be so high that people would not want to live in the city?

Schember is proposing to raise the earned income tax from 1.18% to 1.75%. For the average Erie wage earner, who makes about $27,000 a year, the payment would go up $153 to $471 a year.

In Millcreek and Harborcreek, the earned income tax is currently 1.0%, which comes to $269 a year.

There's no plan to raise property taxes in the city, but Erie News Now compared those numbers anyway. City, school, and county taxes add up to $3,383 a year for a Erie resident who owns a $100,000 home.  In Millcreek, the $100,000 property owner pays $2,306...and in Harborcreek, $2,284.

Schember is proposing to hike sewer fees by $32.60 to $312 a year.   Millcreek's rates are already higher than that at $336 dollars a year.   In Harborcreek, the annual rate is $443 a year.

The refuse rate in Erie would go up $24 to $240 a year.  That would be about the same rates residents in Millcreek and Harborcreek are currently paying.

While Erie News Now compared Erie's earned income tax rate with Millcreek and Harborcreek, Mayor Schember would rather the comparison be with other 3rd Class cities.

Even with the proposed boost, Erie would still rank below the Top 10 in Pennsylvania, even behind cities such as Sharon and New Castle.