Mount Vernon mayor’s budget includes more police, higher taxes

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MOUNT VERNON -

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas on Tuesday unveiled his budget for next year, and while it does include more police, it also includes higher taxes.

The plan includes adding a dozen new police officers and five firefighters, as well as restoring funding for a police commissioner and inspector general.  

"The bottom line is we need to invest more in our operations to do better for our residents,” says Thomas.

That investment could mean higher taxes. The mayor is proposing an increase of just under 5 percent and says the average homeowner would only pay about $20 extra each month.

City Councilman Andrew Wallace says he isn’t buying it.

"It's an additional $12 million, most of it with salary increases for the administration. I have a problem with that,” he says.

The City Council now has a chance to review the budget and propose changes. Members tell News 12 that they are not going to pass anything that includes a tax hike like what the mayor is proposing.

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