Despite leaving the rate the same, real estate property assessments throughout the city are expected to increase 7.5 percent on average.
According to city estimates, that rise in expected assessments will lead to approximately $911,000 in new property tax revenues.
The two city residents spoke their concerns of rising property assessments.
"The recent increase in assessments are staggering," Mendelsohn said. "We are looking at average assessment increases of 36 percent over the next three years."
Mendelsohn continued, "Add inflation to the mix, and those citizens on fixed incomes are dead in the water."
Kendall said rising energy costs, rising Medicare costs and Social Security payments that aren't keeping up make it difficult to meet the increased taxes.
"I just find no way I'm going to be able to keep up with things," Kendall said.
One quick fix could be for city residents to apply for an underused state program, City Finance Director Alfred Martin said. Martin said the Homeowners' Property Tax Credit program, as well as the Maryland Renters' Tax Credit program, are available through the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, and can help ease the tax assessment increases.
In a separate public hearing Tuesday, only one speaker asked for new consideration of the city's general spending plan.
Terry Trovinger, the chief finance officer of Community Rescue Services, told the City Council his organization is increasingly stressed financially, and while he was not asking for emergency funding, he did ask for the city to consider increasing its annual allocation above the current $50,000 level.
Trovinger listed a number of statistics on the number of calls that CRS responds to inside city limits, the number of volunteers and the cost of each emergency response.
"Bottom line, our territory is growing, but our number of volunteers is not," Trovinger said.
One councilman responded positively to Trovinger's request. N. Linn Hendershot said he would like to see the annual allocation be closer to $100,000.
"I think the citizens of Hagerstown would truly benefit," Hendershot said.
The city also held hearings for the one- and five-year spending plans for the federal Community Development Block Grant Program. While three speakers thanked the city for the proposed spending for the coming fiscal year, none spoke in opposition to that portion of the city's budget.
The Community Development Block Grant Program is paid in large part by grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program would spend $2.9 million in the 2005-06 fiscal year, if adopted as proposed.