Elmira's councilors were back at city hall for the second straight day Friday working on the budget proposal.

The council is trying to avoid a 17 percent tax hike that could cost many homeowners in the city hundreds of dollars. Friday, the focus was on generating profits aside from raising property taxes.

Each councilor thoroughly looked over the budget, going back and forth about ways to add revenue. Timothy Blandford argued the city should start by demolishing empty houses. Brent Stermer wants to focus on commercial space development.

Either way, councilors agree they're fighting an uphill battle.

While the distant future looks bright, this year may be a different story as they head into their final workshop next week. The audit revealed the city was operting under a $4.5 million deficit from 2013-2015.

The council will hold the final workshop at 10 a.m. Thursday.