TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Troy City Council voted 8-1 to exceed the city’s property tax cap of 2016, ahead of a final budget vote.
The Troy City Council has paved the way to vote on Tuesday on a budget that includes a nearly five percent property tax hike, which is down from the more than nine percent increase that was initially proposed.
Monday’s discussion posed the question of what’s more important: saving taxpayers money or maintaining city services?
“I am not inclined at all to vote for a budget that overrides the state tax cap,” city council member Jim Gordon said.
Gordon was the only council member who voted no on exceeding the state tax cap of 1.2 percent. He called the threat of reducing city services, including up to 20 job cuts, a scare tactic.
“That’s an administration wanting to get their budget passed and trying to scare people into a frenzy,” he said.
The other eight members of the council disagreed with him. They voted to override the cap, which will now allow the mayor’s proposed budget, which carries a 4.97 percent tax hike, to go before a vote on Tuesday.
“Anything lower than that, the mayor is saying that it will severely hinder the city’s ability to deliver services,” city council member Ken Zalewski said. “I begrudgingly supported this only because it was a reasonable compromise.”
The initially proposed budget carried a 9.3 percent property tax increase. The council shot it down, and the mayor since reworked it.
“So we took the pencil to the paper,” Mayor Lou Rosamilia said. “We worked hard over the entire vacation, so what we’ve reached is a compromise, and the compromise is going to be in the best interest of the city.”
The Troy City Council has less than 24 hours to come up with new ways to save taxpayers money. The final budget vote will take place Tuesday evening.