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Utica finalizes FY25 budget, property owners see a tax increase

Utica Mayor Michael Galime presents the budget
City of Utica
Utica Mayor Michael Galime presents the budget

The City of Utica finalized its budget and property owners will see a 13.95% tax increase.

Mayor Michael Galime's initial proposed $87 million budget included a 16.5% tax hike. He proposed the budget in February, saying they need to take action because the strength in the fiscal policy is diminishing.

"Over the years, there's things we haven't taken account," Galime said. "We haven't taken account appropriately over the last, especially the last six years contractual costs in our budget, inflation, infrastructure costs, repairs, lost or unadjusted revenue. Without any action, now, what we're kind of walking off of is the fiscal cliff."

The Utica Common Council passed a series of amendments to the budget, largely along party lines which put the property tax increase at 7.8%. The mayor vetoed 19 of the 33 amendments and during a special meeting of the Common Council, the council was unable to override any of the vetoes.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.