The Watertown city council has laid out what Mayor Jeff Graham calls 'the parameters' for next year's budget and taxes.
"If there is to be any levy increase, it would have to be two percent or less," Graham said.
The council's guidance comes a week after city manager Sharon Addison presented a very early draft of the budget that included a hypothetical 34 percent tax hike.
The budget as proposed was $41 million, a six percent increase over this year's $39 million spending plan.
In order hold the increase at two percent or less, the city will have to cut about $800,000 from the budget and dip into the city's cash reserves to the tune of $1.6 million.
The use of that much cash reserve makes some city officials nervous, but "Sometimes you just have to do things that make you a little uncomfortable," said council member Teresa Macaluso.
Addison is expected to take the council's input and put together a budget proposal for release later this month.
Sunday, February 7, 2016, Watertown, NY
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