CITY HALL NEWS : HAWTHORNE : Council Rejects Budget Containing Tax Hike

A proposed budget that included a 1.5% utility tax increase failed to gain enough votes to pass, leaving the financially troubled city without a budget for the new fiscal year which began July 1.

In a 2 to 2 vote, the council rejected the plan because the tax hadn't been approved by the council. Even with the tax increase, the plan projected a $1.4-million deficit.

Councilman Steven Andersen said he voted against the plan because the voters hadn't had a chance to speak on the proposed tax increase. Mayor Larry Guidi also voted against the budget. Councilwomen Ginny M. Lambert and Betty J. Ainsworth voted in favor of the proposal, with the understanding that it could be amended if the utility tax increase wasn't approved. Councilwoman Martha G. Bails was absent.

Interim City Manager James A. Algie said he will not change the plan before the council votes on it again July 11.

"Too much work has gone into it," Algie said.

The proposed tax increase was introduced before the budget vote June 29 and is scheduled for a vote July 11.

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