The latest version of Corry’s proposed $3.38 million budget for 2010 still includes a tax increase for the city’s property owners.

The suggested tax hike of 0.65 mills, however, is smaller than the 0.75-mill increase Corry City Council approved Nov. 16 in order to approve its required first reading of a balanced budget.

Council held the latest round of budget talks Monday at a public work session.

Although, the newest proposal decreases the amount of a potential tax increase, any tax increase is too high for Councilman Pat Migliaccio.

Migliaccio has asserted from the beginning of the budget process more than two months ago that he would not support a tax increase at a time when many property owners are reeling from job losses and a stagnant economy.

“We had a tax increase last year,” Migliaccio said, referring to council’s decision to raise taxes by 0.3 mills in 2009. “I just can’t see doing it again this year. We should put off the increase for a year.”

Council has been laboring since October to come up with a balanced budget at a time when the city’s revenue is flat and expenses are rising. The cost of health insurance alone for city employees is expected to increase by nearly 21 percent.

Law requires council to approve the first reading of a balanced budget at least 30 days before a final budget is approved. Although council hopes it doesn’t have to raise taxes, it approved the first reading of the budget last month to buy more time.

The five-member board must approve a balanced budget by Dec. 31.

See the Journal's Tuesday, December 8th edition for full story.

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