Long Beach passes budget with 8% tax hike

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LONG BEACH -

Long Beach City Council voted unanimously in favor of a $95 million, tax-hiking budget proposal Wednesday night.

Part of the plan includes a more than 8 percent property tax hike in a bid to patch the city's $4 million budget gap. That amounts to about $274 a year per household. 

Many residents are angry about it. One of them is Allison Blanchette.

"This is disgusting," she said, before using some profanity to describe the city's treatment of bus riders and ending her statement with an emphatic, "Shame!"

But officials say that if City Council had failed to pass a budget, residents would have seen a double-digit tax hike instead.

Council members presented a slew of amendments before the vote. Those included reversing salary increases to city officials, shrinking the budget for building repairs and cutting overtime for the police and fire departments.

Supporters of the plan say there needs to be change to stave off a looming fiscal nightmare.

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