TROY, N.Y. -- After weeks of debate and disagreements over Mayor Patrick Madden's budget proposal, the Troy City Council shot down overriding the state tax cap of .68 percent, making Madden's pitch for a more than 20 percent tax hike obsolete.
Members voted 5-4 against overriding the state tax cap. The vote to pass the 2017 proposed budget was then 8-0-1, with Councilman Bob Doherty, abstaining.
Out of procedure, council still had to vote on the budget proposal, ultimately rejecting it and giving the mayor next to nothing to operate the city and pay employees.
"I would describe the city of Troy as, in fiscal chaos," said Madden.
City Council President Carmella Mantello says amendments Madden suggested, which would have brought his tax hike down to 23 percent from 28 percent, never made it to the floor.
Had council agreed to override the tax cap, it could have proposed more amendments to the budget, as members had prior to the vote.
"There's no number when you override the tax cap. It's basically a local law; you either override it or you don't," said Mantello, "so those amendments of the council had agreed with the mayor. We told him we are ready, willing and able to override the tax cap but we're not going above 14."
"All along, I've been very yielding. I said, 'tell me what you want to cut and we can reduce the numbers.' What we can't do is what we've done in the past, which is make up numbers when we don't like reality," Madden said.
According to Mantello, the mayor now has to develop what's called deficit reduction plan, meaning he has to come up with ways to reduce debt.
Madden was clear before the vote, saying a rejection would force him to potentially lay off 90 city employees and reduce services across the board.
"That cannot happen without council approval," Mantello said, continuing, "so The Mayor needs to stop with that threat. It's borderline harassment and it really needs to stop."