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Revised Rome budget stays within state's 2 percent tax cap

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Rome Mayor Joseph Fusco has revised the city's 2013 budget from the approximately 5 percent property tax hike to one that stays within the state's 2 percent cap.

The one percent increase on taxes equals about 14 cents per thousand dollars a home is assessed at if you live in the city. In Rome's outer district, that equals out to about 15 cents per one thousand dollars.

Mayor Fusco says he was trying to rebuild the city's surpluses with the 5 percent tax raise he initially proposed, but that without the support of the Common Council, he was forced to lower the tax hike. Now he fears cuts the city may have to make for it to work.

"Do we stop collecting leaves? Do we stop collecting green waste? These are things that really have to be done in a community," Mayor Fusco said. "I wouldn't call them luxury. They are a necessity. You have to move this waste stuff out of the way but are the homeowners going to have to do it themselves? Possibly. We don't know."

The mayor says services and programs will have to be cut if overtime costs go up, the city has a bad winter or if state aid is cut.

Mayor Fusco's new spending plan is $40.5 million, which is $700,000 less than last year.

The final budget must be passed by December 31.

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