Mayor Gabriel J. Campana presented his 2013 budget message Thursday night to City Council.
The $21.1 million proposed budget calls for a 0.85-mill real estate tax increase.
The tax millage, if not altered, equates to $85 more per year for a household assessed at $100,000.
Once again, Campana repeatedly slammed unions, primarily fire and police representatives, and higher costs associated with paying for medical insurance and pensions.
The fire union has not agreed to Campana's request for concessions in its contract, among them a contribution toward major medical deductible, which other employees pay.
Firefighters also have the lowest co-pay for prescriptions - set at $6 - among all 218 employees, benefits they received through prior arbitration.
The proposed budget does not replace two existing vacancies in the streets and parks department and lowers the police department complement by three officers, preserving it at 49.
The five positions will be reduced through attrition, Campana said, answering a question by Councilman Randall J. Allison.
Additional sources of revenue include building permits for a YMCA construction on Park Avenue, a medical facility and renovations in the Williamsport Area School District.
The Williamsport Parking Authority agreed to contribute $75,000 toward the general fund, he said.
Campana said the city is heading toward arbitration, must repair a portion of Reach Road and has learned of structural repairs necessary at Bowman Field, specifically sections of the roof.
The city also is paying for a flood levee certification study not funded by the federal government and is expecting to purchase four police cruisers next year.
The police department also would like to buy a records management system to help document crime and improve technology.
Campana said he would like to see debt refinancing for River Valley Transit. The refinancing of the debt is expected to reduce budget costs and provide additional money for capital expenditures, he said.
"It could have been a 3-mill tax increase," Campana said, before wishing council a happy Thanksgiving.
Council typically does not comment on the budget message. Two budget work sessions are planned, both at 7 p.m. The first is Nov. 26 and the other is Nov. 28.