The Utica Common Council has passed a budget that includes a 4.4 percent tax increase, a reduction of the spending plan submitted by the mayor.
Utica common councilors were able to whittle down the proposed 7.8 percent tax increase included in Mayor Rob Palmieri's budget with a series of the last-minute amendments. They equaled about $1 million in savings thanks in part to the use of money from the city's fund balance and capital improvement trust. It also helped cover $700,000 in additional pension costs that were not accounted for last year.
But the cuts did not go far enough for some. Two of the seven council members voted against it, including Joe Marino.
"I was very proud of the cuts that we did make. I just felt very strongly that there were more cuts to be had," Marino said. "There was more fluff in that budget to protect our citizenry and to keep taxes lower. Certain council members felt otherwise."
Palmieri is currently reviewing the budget. He has the power to veto the amendments.