MOUNT VERNON - The Mount Vernon City Council has approved a 2014 budget.

The $101 million spending plan was approved last night with a 3-2 vote and contains an almost 7.8 percent tax hike.

Some city council members say the tax increase is simply too high and that cuts could have been made to avoid it. "What I heard was 'I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today' and when you really take a closer look at the budget, it offers nothing but a dead end for taxpayers," claims City Councilman Richard Thomas.

However, the mayor says the increase was needed in order to keep the city of Mount Vernon running in fiscally tight times. "Fire service, police and DPW … if you make cuts, you start losing your middle class," says Mayor Ernie Davis.

For the average homeowner in Mount Vernon, the tax increase amounts to about $28 extra a month.