Utica's new city budget proposal features a tax increase

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - Utica mayor Robert Palmieri is releasing the city's budget proposal Thursday.

Residents could see a tax increase -- to the tune of 8.73 percent. The city council voted 7-2  Wednesday to go over the state-imposed 2-percent tax cap.

For a home valued at $55,000, residents could expect a $9.25 a month increase.

Palmieri says any reduction in his proposed budget would have a direct impact on the health and safety of the city.

The proposed budget addresses settled union contracts, debt payment obligations and the purchase of new ambulances, DPW trucks, IT equipment and police vehicles.

"While our city has grown and is moving in the right direction, we are still fixing the financial problems we inherited," Palmieri said. "When we ran the initial numbers for the budget, it would have taken a 26.5 percent tax increase to balance the budget. That was unacceptable to me."

According to the mayor's office, even with the proposed tax increase, Utica's budget is one of the leanest in New York. Utica spends less money per resident than nearly every other city in the state.

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