UTICA -- A public meeting on the mayor's proposed budget got heated Monday.
Mayor Robert Palmieri's budget proposal carries a 7.8 percent property tax hike.
The meeting, held at North Utica Senior Center, served as a platform for Utica residents to voice their concerns over the proposed budget.
A lot of people were not happy about the tax hike, which led to a small dispute between council members and residents.
Palmieri began the meeting explaining the budget in detail. He says he didn’t want a tax increase this year but because of contracts, there was no way around it.
Locals say the proposed increase is unfair.
"Somebody’s kids might have to go without food, somebody may have to go without a coat or clothing because their taxes went up,” Utica resident Peg Roberts said.
Palmieri says the tax hike was originally supposed to be higher, but he says he's made as many job cuts as possible in order to lower the tax increase.
"No one likes to see their taxes go up,” Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said. “I certainly don't like to raise the taxes. But when you have four variables of health, medical, salary line, and debtness as I said, and pension costs. They're all drivers that we have no control over"
Palmieri is hoping the revenue the city brings in this year meets the cost of expenses so that taxes don't have to continue to rise in the future.
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