The City of Tonawanda Common Council narrowly passed a local law Monday that would allow the city to raise the tax levy if the proposed 2018 budget exceeds the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap.
The measure failed last week in a 2-2 tie vote, with Councilman Chuck Gilbert absent. Gilbert's vote helped pass the measure Monday, 3-2.
But Gilbert said he'd rescind his yes vote, unless all city employees agreed to pay $200 per month for health insurance – which he said would save the city $400,000 a year.
City Treasurer Joseph Hogenkamp said most of the city budget is salaries and health insurance.
The city has about 125 employees, according to Mayor Rick Davis.
"That's the reality of life. We all have to pay," Gilbert said. "The city is in a serious situation."
Councilors Tim Toth and Jackie Smilnich voted no. Council President Jenna Koch and Councilman Sean Rautenstrauch voted yes.