Binghamton's 2010 Budget Approved

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Oct 14, 2009 at 11:20 PM EDT

Binghamton's 2010 Budget is approved Wednesday night.

It includes a slightly smaller tax increase than first proposed. .

By a vote of 5-2, City Council approved the 91.3 million dollar spending plan.

It includes a property tax rate increase of 7% for homeowners.

And about 8% for businesses.

Those rates were originally about 1% higher.

And as Action News Reporter Leigh Dana tells us, tax payers could see another such hike in 2011.

"The fact of the matter is: With as many position eliminations we saw this year, nothing compared to what we're going to see next year," says Binghamton City Councilwoman, Teri Rennia.

Council members like Rennia say more could have been cut in Binghamton's 2010 budget.

It's got them, and taxpayers already worried about 2011.

"I really do feel it's going to be worse. And I think they've got to start planning now and get more people involved in the city<' says Jerry Motsavage of Binghamton.

And in a late, but winning attempt to help tax payers this year, City Council managed to squeeze an additional 60 thousand dollars out of the city's spending plan.

It cut a vacant public works position.

"From the very beginning I had been saying the whole entire time: The second PW position needs to go. The position's empty. We can't afford it right now, we need to zero out this position. This is a position where we'd have savings right away," says Rennia.

35 positions total have been cut for next year, including 10 firefighter and 12 police officer positions.

"We certainly didn't want to cut any police officers. We didn't fund some... Those were really important...It was a big loss to the city. But this is the toughest time we've been in a long time," says Councilman Charles Kramer.

And some say it may only get tougher.

In Binghamton, Leigh Dana, WBNG TV Action News.

Mayor Matt Ryan points to the state retirement system as a major expense in the budget.

As New York's pension fund decreased due to the recession.

Ryan has 10 days to accept or veto any portions of the budget.

Although his communications director tells Action News he likely won't make any vetoes.

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