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New Rochelle City Manager Charles Strome III today released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The $190 million budget preserves and enhances essential services and reflects a continued investment in the City’s infrastructure. The proposed tax levy increase is 2.03%, the maximum allowable under the New York State tax cap legislation.
“The proposed budget is a responsible financial plan that includes funding for the further restoration of public safety services and a continued robust investment in the City’s infrastructure, while maintaining an adequate rainy day fund in accordance with the goals of the City’s new Fund Balance Policy,” said Strome. Despite the limitations of the tax cap legislation, the City continues to enhance services and fund capital projects at a minimal cost increase to taxpayers.
The ten-year capital plan has been updated as a result of a comprehensive and strategic review of the City’s infrastructure and capital assets. The proposal spans 10 years at a cost of $109.6 million with an additional $15 million in improvements that includes complete streets projects, sanitary sewer repairs and replacements, many parks and environmental projects, street improvements, facility improvements and an investment in public safety technology. “This continued multi-year investment will benefit our City as a whole, and improve the quality of life for both businesses and residents,” Strome noted.
In addition to the capital program investment, union contractual obligations for employee salaries, health insurance increases and right-sizing the workforce accounts for the remainder of the rise in expenses included in the proposed budget. These increases will be funded by tax revenue, fines, grant funding and anticipated increases in one-time revenue streams generated from the City’s development program.
The New York State-imposed tax cap calculation is applied to the tax levy, not to the tax rate. “The $1.2M or 2.03% increase to the tax levy equates to a tax rate increase of 2.04% because our tax base is estimated to fall slightly this year” added Strome. The proposed tax increase for the average homeowner is $73 and equates to 20 cents per day.
“As the revitalization of our City continues, the need for adequate City resources will likewise grow. A prudent and cautious approach that recognizes and keeps pace with this demand will enable us to restore and maintain our extraordinary level of service to our citizens,” Strome concluded. “This budget provides the framework for achieving that goal.”
Copies of the proposed budget are available in the City Clerk’s office, at the New Rochelle Public Library and on the City’s website www.newrochelleny.com. The City Council will conduct budget review meetings in November and December and hold a public hearing on December 1st in advance of the adoption of a tax rate in December.