Edmonton city staff managed to reduce the anticipated tax hike for 2013 from 5.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent.

But Mayor Stephen Mandel says the hike is still not low enough for him.

"It's a start," he said. "We can get down substantially lower than that. There's things that we can do in this budget to look at a more efficient way of doing things.

"Sixty per cent of our budget is wages and that's the one most important thing we need to come to grips with and it isn't easy."

A tax increase of 4.7 per cent would mean $84 more each year for the average homeowner with a house valued at $350,000.