Council knocks another percent from proposed Utica tax increase


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Finance Committee of the Utica Common Council held yet another meeting Tuesday night, trimming another percent from the Mayor's proposed tax increase.

Mayor David Roefaro's original budget proposal included a tax hike of more than 18%.  That budget did not sit well with the council, which went to work right away making cuts.  Monday night, Mayor Roefaro introduced, a new, slimmed-down budget proposal.  Among other cuts, he eliminated seven police position.  The tax increase for the revised budget was only 8.43%.

Again, that number was not low enough for council members who represent some cash-strapped residents.  So they found a few more cuts to make, bringing the tax increase down to 7.43%.

Finance committee Chairwoman, Joan Scalise, says the Mayor has agreed to the additional cuts.  This year she's asking city residents to try and do more with less.

"We're providing less finances for them and they're going to have to watch their budget," Scalise said.

Scalise says in the future, the council needs to look for other revenue sources to avoid tax hikes and public safety cuts.

The budget has to be passed by March 21.  Tomorrow night the council will present the revised budget, with all the amendments, at a public hearing.  The hearing will take place at Utica City Hall at 6:30p.m.  According to Scalise, the council will vote on the budget Thursday night.



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