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2013 Elmira City Budget Deadline Looms

Elmira city budget workshop 2013

ELMIRA (WENY)-- The Elmira City budget is up for vote next month, but not without some controversy.

The budget calls for roughly $35 millionin spending and includes a property tax hike of a little under three percent, that's $27 for a house assessed at $50,000.

The City Council passed a local law allowing council to override the 2 percent tax cap if necessary in order to balance the budget.

Mayor Sue Skidmore says July's tornado cost the city half-a-million dollars, Health costs went up 20 percent and other insurances rose15 percent.

The mayor says it came down to higher taxes or cutting safety personell.

"I would hate to go out there and tell people in this community, we know our crime rate, we know what's going on, we hear you, you are always talking it about it and we have a full staff. But, now because of this incident and because we can't raise taxes to cover whatever catastrophe we've had, we have to lose police, lose fire, nobody is happy doing that."

The council is meeting again on December 31st at 4 to put the budget up for public comment.