UTICA- The Utica common council voted to pass a $71.8 million budget that includes a two percent tax decrease for residents.
Some residents voiced their concerns about the budget at the meeting.
"Two percent is nothing to us, but what they really need to be doing is looking for a different way to start building up the tax base in this city," said Utica resident Ron Vincent.
Councilwoman Samantha Colosimo-Testa was the only councilor who voted not to pass the budget.
"It’s a negative two percent decrease, again, they raised people’s taxes eight percent last year,” said Colosimo-Testa. “I understand that two percent sounds like a lot when they raise your taxes eight percent in one year however it still doesn’t address infrastructure inside the city … Why not invest that money into things that need to be invested in? I mean, there could be a million things so that I can look at inside the city they need help with. I mean, you look at our parks, our parks are deteriorating. You look at our roads, our roads are deteriorating. Our sidewalks, lights, you name it, I mean the city needs help."
Council at Large Jack LoMedico discussed why he voted to pass the budget.
“We voted for the adoption of the budget because it gives the residents here a two percent break in their sales tax this year whereas we had a raise last year,” said LoMedico. “We did have a couple sales this year so we could actually take that money and give it back to the residents here. Why not give your residents back money that we have extra? So, the thought that we should put it into other things in the city, we’re collecting enough money from our residents now. I don’t think we should have to take anymore.
Next the budget will go to the mayor for review and will go into effect on April 1.