Council, Kenney reach budget deal with plenty of tax cuts


City Council gave preliminary approval Thursday to a budget that would slash wage and business taxes and significantly expand popular property tax relief programs in response to rising assessments.

Lawmakers, tasked with passing a spending plan by the end of the month, reached an agreement with Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration late Wednesday night.

Councilmember Derek Green said he has been around City Hall for nearly two decades, and this budget cycle “is probably the first time that I can recall that this legislative body voted on measures to reduce real estate taxes for citizens, reduce wage taxes and also reduce business taxes.”

“It’s a lot longer than just 20 years,” added Councilmember Brian O’Neill, a Republican from the Far Northeast who took office in 1980.

Fiscal negotiations, which began in March, were upended last month, when property reassessments were released showing that total residential real estate values had risen 31%. In some neighborhoods, homeowners saw increases of around 50%.

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