City taxpayers are due the cuts for a no-tax-hike budget

Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana presented a proposed budget to City Council last week that includes a real estate tax increase of a third of a mill. That’s several steps better than the sticker-shock tax increase city taxpayers were hit with in the 2016 budget. But it’s not good enough.

Part of the rationale for this year’s tax increase was that it would prevent one for 2017.

City Council members, as is custom, did not comment on the $25.2 million spending plan because they had not seen it prior to Mayor Campana’s budget proposal announcement.

Council gets a crack at the line item details in a series of public hearings.

We are hopeful council can find enough areas to make the cuts in expenditures to achieve a no-tax-hike budget for 2017 that maintains necessary city services. It is an assignment that gets tougher every year. The proposed budget includes a relatively small reserve of $137,390.

But taxpayers painfully held up their end of the bargain this year. It’s pay-back time.