UTICA -- A proposed tax increase was a major topic of discussion at Tuesday’s finance meeting of the Utica Common Council.
Council members completed an audit review of the 2017 spending budget, which will help determine the new budget.
The audit review showed that the City of Utica is not bringing in much revenue.
Council members say the reason for the nearly eight percent tax hike is due to a deficit in the 2017 budget.
The budget proposal for 2018 was released on Monday. It is the council member’s job to make budget cuts that will balance the budget.
Audits are used as a guide for council members to know what changes to make in future budgets.
Council member, Joseph Marino, says he's against the increase.
He says instead of using tax payers to balance the budget, he feels there should be more development within the city to bring in revenue.
“We need to get creative with our revenue because again, you only cut so many expenses before you start hurting service,” Marino said. “So the best way to kind of help your tax situation and help the people in the area is to provide the same service or even more. But increase your revenues by offsetting all the money that you are spending. You can't keep on increasing taxes to spend more money. That's not a real good way to effectively run a government."
Under the proposed budget there are no cuts in city jobs.
The mayor says the tax hike is due to unexpected increases of mandatory costs within the last year.
He also says going over the budget means tax payers are being given the services that they desire.
The council now has six weeks to make changes to the budget before its final.