Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the 2 percent tax cap into law 3 years ago. He called it a critical step toward New York's economic recovery. Tonight Utica's Common Council voted to override the governor's cap. One council member says the decision gives the council more options.
Councilman Frank Meola says, "If the common council continues to vote for the override, they have the options to start from the 3.75 that the Mayor projected to go down to zero, it's their option and they need to keep that door wide open."
The mayor says he began working on the budget in April of last year. Although it's been a long process some say there wasn't much time for council members to review it before tonight's vote.
Council Person Joe Marino says, "I wish it would've gotten presented a little sooner to give us a little bit of time to make proper decisions."
Last year's budget had numerous cuts to public safety but this years is a stark contrast with no cuts to public safety and some council people are happy to see that
Councilman Marino added, "You want to get your money's worth when you're paying taxes, so not cutting into public safety is very, very important to me this year. We cut pretty heavily last year and thank god its work."
Council Member Jerome McKinsey says, "For me its public safety, its quality of life, its dropping and lowering violent crime, keeping our houses from burning down. And whatever budget we pass we need to make sure we do not touch public safety."