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Mayor Brown unveils his budget proposal for the City of Rome

By WKTV News

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Rome Mayor Jim Brown unveiled the city's 2012 budget Tuesday. The biggest changes residents will see is a 2% property tax increase.

That means the average home owner with a $70,000 assessment within the city of Rome will have to pay $28.73 more a year, those living in Rome's outer district will pay an additional $18.53 a year.

The proposed budget also includes a 20% cut to non-profits including Rome's Historical Society, the Rome Humane Society, the Rome Art and Community Center and Capitol Theater. There is also a $102,000 dollar cut to the Jervis Public Library.

However, the mayor's budget doesn't include cuts across the board. "No one's getting laid off in police, nobody is getting laid off in fire, nobody's getting laid off in DPW," says Mayor Brown. "Parks and Recreation will maintain the same budget it has in this year in 2011." There will be three positions eliminated- one is a grant-funded position in the weed and seed program that is no longer being funded, another is part-time position and the third is already vacant. Brown says there simply wasn't enough funding for the positions.

With an election approaching where Mayor Brown will face Joe Fusco on the Conservative line, the Mayor says some have questioned the tax increases in his budget. Mayor Brown says that would be a disservice to the city, as his job is also to look towards Rome's future.

After Tuesday's proposal, there will be a thirty day period for public comments. The council will then review the budget before it is finalized.

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