JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- City Council surprised Mayor Brown and voted down the pension reform deal Tuesday night.
The vote was a big setback for Mayor Brown.
Brown has said the negotiated deal would give Jacksonville a solid financial future, saving the city $1.2 billion over 30 years.
The man leading the study for pension reform, Bill Scheu, called the vote a "sneak attack", and said the goal of voting down the deal was to make Brown look bad.
Now the deal will return to mediation in federal court, and according to Mayor Brown's chief of staff Chris Hand, could cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hand said litigation could take 3 - 5 years.
City Council also voted to give them the option to increase the millage rate from 10 to around 11.5 total, a 15 percent hike.
Hand said the Mayor's "conscience is clear" because he proposed a budget deal and pension reform package he thought would work.
Tonight's meeting will likely have huge implications down the road for the upcoming budget fight and pension battle.
The new budget is due October 1.
First Coast News