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Mount Vernon Mayor Opposes 2 Councilmen's Planned Cuts

Mayor Ernie Davis, right, said he is against the idea of charging more for taxi medallions in Mount Vernon.
Mayor Ernie Davis, right, said he is against the idea of charging more for taxi medallions in Mount Vernon. Photo Credit: Greg Maker

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - A proposal by two councilmen for further budget cuts was shot down by Mayor Ernie Davis as the proposed 6.5 percent tax hike remains, going into Friday’s public hearing.

There is still no agreement on the budget. The public will get another chance to speak regarding the proposed plan Dec. 21 in the City Council Chambers in City Hall.

Richard Thomas and J. Yuhanna Edwards proposed selling 30 city-owned taxis for $30,000 apiece and upping the prices of a medallion from $500 per year to $2,000 per year.

“We need to get in and do something,” Thomas said. “Why not? The reason why the economy is struggling is that sales tax is flat. There is a culture of not wanting to do things in this city. We need to create an incentive to do something.”

Mayor Ernie Davis said he plans to meet with representatives from the taxi association but doesn’t think that going this route will save as much money as the two councilmen say it would.

“This is Mount Vernon, and people talk about a whole lot of stuff that is not true or doesn’t come true,” Davis said. “I don’t think that it is fiscally responsible when we have not met with taxi owners. It is a business which allows those with very little money to enter it. Many would never be in business if we had medallions. It is in such a flux that we can’t count it as revenue.”

The proposed 2013 municipal budget was initially presented with a 9.8 percent tax increase. After residents voiced objections, it was cut to the current proposal of 6.5 percent.

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