Updated 10/01/2012 06:15 AM
Schenectady mayor presents 2013 budget
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy unveiled his 2013 budget proposal to the city council on Sunday afternoon. Our Maria Valvanis was at the presentation and has more on what the proposal entails.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Schenectady City Councilman Vincent Riggi said, "It was a lot to digest, could have been worse."
Schenectady City Council members reacted Sunday to Mayor Gary McCarthy's presentation of the proposed 2013 budget that would bring a tax increase of up to 4.1 percent.
"We've made some reductions internally, we increase some of our efficiencies, but unfortunately there's a slight increase," said Mayor McCarthy.
Mayor McCarthy tells us that increase could have been avoided if the city was able to collect the more than $12 million owed in delinquent taxes. A projected 150 parcels will be foreclosed on in 2013 to help relieve some of that difference, but some council members say raising taxes won't solve that problem and, rather, will do the reverse.
"Anything we can cut to make it a little easier on the taxpayers, it's just a snowball effect and we have to stop it," said Riggi.
Resident Allen Denegris said, "The people can't take increases, especially the senior citizens. Schenectady will be a ghost town they'll be moving out left and right."
The proposed budget also reduces 22 positions. Those employees may be bumped to lower positions or laid off, but McCarthy says there won't be any disruption in services provided to the taxpayers.
"We prefer not to have any increase, but the reality is we have to make the budget fit and we'll work with the councilors to make other efficiencies in the budget," said McCarthy.
Council members have until Nov. 1 to adopt a budget. They tell us they'll be using the next few weeks to go over all numbers carefully before deciding what's in city's best interest.