NEW BEDFORD — On his weekly "Midweek with the Mayor" segment on WBSM Wednesday, Mayor Jon Mitchell told listeners that city government is working hard to keep expenses down, while still provided the essential services.

Mitchell said, "It is a constant battle to keep taxes down in the city and the fundamental problem here has to do with pensions. Health care is running better now but in the long run health care is an issue."

The Mayor's comments were in response to Tuesday's City Council vote to lower the residential and commercial tax rates. However, even though the rates per thousand dollar valuation will go down for fiscal 2019, the average homeowner will see an increase of about $220-dollars in property taxes next year.  That's according to the assessor's office, saying residential property values have increased.

Mayor Mitchell said he feels both residential and commercial property taxes in the city are too high. Mitchell added that he would like to see more aid from the state, but that isn't happening right now.

The Mayor said over the past 15 years, the number of city employees has decreased by about 18 percent.