Hazleton Budget Still In Question

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HAZLETON -- The financial situation in Hazleton remains up in the air on this last day of the year.

The city still doesn't have a budget in place, even though the law says it has to have one by the start of 2013.

The mayor's budget calls for an 83 percent tax hike.

Council members voted for a spending plan of their own last week, calling for a much smaller tax increase.

Council member Jeannie Mope tells Newswatch 16 the issues involve procedure, so she believes neither budget will be in effect at midnight.

Mope says police and fire protection will remain, even though the city loses its ability to spend money without a budget.

Council needs to meet again to resolve that issue. Mope said she does not know when that will be.

Another councilman, Kevin Schadder, told us Monday morning he believes council's budget was passed legally, and that's the spending plan that will be used at midnight. He did leave the door open for amendments.