UPDATE 7/23/13, 8:49 p.m.: The City will have to go back to court over the pension reform deal Mayor Alvin Brown struck with unions. The City Council voted it down.
UPDATE 7/23/13, 7:54 p.m.: The Jacksonville City Council voted to tentatively increase millage rate by 1.5 from 10.0353 to 11.5353. This is an update. An earlier version of FCN's story is below.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown is standing his ground, saying a tax increase is not a solution for the city's budget. The City Council is not convinced and Tuesday night could give an indication whether a property tax increase is on the horizon.
The council is charged by law to set a millage rate. The rate is not binding, but the council at a later date cannot increase the millage rate.
Mayor Brown is proposing the rate be set at 10.03 mills. Each mill represents $10 for each $1,000 in assessed value.
The council has the ability to set a higher millage rate, but is not bound by that number.
"I see Jacksonville going downhill," said George Pearce, who lives in Arlington. The retired Coast Guard veteran supports a tax increase to avoid cuts in services like to libraries.
Larry Jackson holds a different view.
"I think everybody can manage money better ... so just cut out all the waste," said Jackson, who is also retired military.
Mayor Brown has proposed a $953 million budget. The budget does have a $60 million shortfall.
Brown said pension reform, if approved, could cushion the blow.
The city must adopt a spending plan before October 1.
Want to weigh in on the Mayor's proposed budget? Here's who to contact:
Mayor Alvin Brown
Bill Gulliford, City Council President
Clay Yarborough, City Council Vice President
Greg Anderson, City Council Finance Committee Chair
First Coast News