TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After several meetings with the mayor, the Troy City Council moved forward with the 2017 budget and approved to override the tax cap and a property tax increase.
The council voted six to three during a special meeting on Monday to override the tax cap. While the budget is now balanced based on the tax levy, it comes at a cost. Mayor Patrick Madden said there will be eight layoffs.
Madden called it a “difficult decision.”
An hour before the meeting took place, close to 50 CSEA members rallied outside the Hedley Building. They urged the council to override the tax cap.
“I mean, you know, I don’t want to see anybody lose their job, but this is the worst time of the year it can happen with the holidays,” CSEA member Paul Carroll said.
CSEA members said it’s been frustrating not having a budget set in stone despite several meetings. But shortly before 6:30 p.m., the council passed the decision to override the tax cap as well as the mayor’s most recent proposal for a 14 percent tax increase.
His first proposal was an increase of 28 percent.
“We haven’t been at 28 percent in at least a month, and there were a number of other council members who stepped forward saying 28 percent is unacceptable, so we work with all of the council members,” Madden said.
Council President Carmella Mantello voted against the tax cap. She said she refuses to support eight layoffs, especially if she doesn’t know who will be affected.
Mantello also added she’s upset at the mayor for changing his mind at the last minute on revealing the people’s names.
“Take the eight layoffs out, you have my support; he refused to do that,” Mantello said. “To this very minute, we don’t know who those eight people are. So the council just voted 400-and-something-thousand-dollars of eight layoffs of people that they don’t even know.”
Madden held a press conference after the meeting. He provided a list of operations that will be impacted by the tax cap. One of the biggest is municipal pools will be closed beginning Summer 2017.
When asked which departments will see layoffs, he said that will not be disclosed until the employees have been spoken to. However, he did say it will cut across five departments.
As of December 1, per the city charter, the city does have a budget in place, but Mantello said another meeting may be held in January where they could be voting again or seeing more amendments.