WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Westfield City Council will meet Thursday night to finalize their budget for the next fiscal year.
According to City Councilor David Flaherty, Westfield is facing a $4.16-million budget deficit, but the council has only proposed $460,000 in cuts. The cuts include the law department and rail trail funding.
The council will meet Thursday night at city hall at 7:00pm to finalize the budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1st.
Flaherty told 22News that, even with the cuts, residents can expect a more than 5% property tax increase. He said, “We are driving that train and it’s on a track for destruction and we are not taking any steps to steer the train away from the destruction point. We are spending more and more every year. We are in serious debt. We owe $300-million in debt.”
Flaherty went on to say he thinks Westfield is about two years away from cuts to key services and not being able to offer raises.
They’ve increased the meals and hotel tax to try and generate more revenue, but said short of creating dog license and weddings fees, they are tapped out.
Elderly residents have expressed concern that they are on a fixed income and can’t afford any more taxes.