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Both sides claim fuzzy math in charter reform

Franck has been vocally opposed to charter revision, while McCabe has remained quiet on the subject, but both challenged Keehn's statements regarding the audit. "Saratoga Springs has never been in a stronger position financially since I've been in office," McCabe said.

McCabe said unrealistic revenue estimates were largely to blame for past deficits. "We weren't meeting expectations as far as estimates went," he said. "It's all about reigning in estimates and controlling expenses."

Franck says the city's Moody's bond rating is a strong "A-1 with a negative outlook." The "negative outlook" qualifier, he says, is a result of those same past unrealistic revenue estimates.

Charter spokesperson and former state budget director Mark Lawton said, however, that the cities bond rating will be in jeopardy if the commission form of government keeps raising taxes. Saratoga Springs unveiled next year's budget last month, which showed a six percent increase in the tax rate per assessed value and a spending increase of $6.5 million, or 13.7 percent.

Franck said the change in government is more likely to affect the bond rate than the tax levy, as the changeover would create investor anxiety.

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