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Hedglon releases proposed Oneida 2010 budget

BUDGET CUTS PROPOSED, ZERO PERCENT TAX INCREASE

The city of Oneida Mayor's Proposed 2010 Budget will be released for the public's viewing Friday Oct. 30. Budgets for the water fund, sewer fund and General Fund Budget that includes the real property tax revenue, will also be released. The 2010 GFB does not increase the city's real property tax rates; rather it reduces spending by about $288,000 compared to this year's budget, according to city of Oneida Mayor Peter Hedglon.

In Hedglon's budget message to the residents of Oneida, he said he set a goal of a zero percent tax increase because he understands that taxpayers are "stressed by the Great Recession," and to show residents and taxpayers how city service costs affect taxes. With the tax effects, Hedglon said he hopes to spur conversation among residents in order for them "to decide which services they want and need, and what they are willing to pay for."

In a past interview with the Madison County Eagle, Hedglon said the financial situation in the city has been a top issue and will continue to be on the city's primary agenda until a budget issues are brought to a better balance.

While preparing the 2010 budget proposal, Hedglon said he "wasn't holding back anything" because he wants residents to know all the truths of the city's spending so that budget discussions can continue to be productive. He said he has used this strategy throughout his time as mayor. "The truth is the only way," the mayor said in political matters.

"Why should the taxpayers be kept in the dark?" Hedglon asked. "It's their money; they should know how it will be spent."

Because the Oneida Common Council acts as a representation of the population of the city, Hedglon said he and the council are simply working to make the budget information available and open for discussion because it ultimately affects "taxpayers' dollars." Each item kept in the budget or cut from the budget will have to be observed as a direct effect on "real property taxes," according to the mayor.

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