2017 Proposed Budget Released
New Rochelle City Manager Charles Strome III today released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017. The $202 million budget preserves and enhances essential services and reflects an historic investment in the City’s infrastructure. The proposed tax rate increase is 6.72% and would require an override of the State’s tax cap legislation.
“The proposed budget is a responsible financial plan that includes funding for the further restoration of public safety services and a robust investment in the City’s infrastructure, while maintaining an adequate rainy day fund,” said Strome. Since the tax cap calculation does not exempt the cost of capital projects- as a number of municipalities have requested- an override is necessary.
The capital plan included in the 2017 budget is the result of a comprehensive and strategic review of the City’s infrastructure and capital assets. The proposal spans 10 years at a cost of $149.9 million and includes the relocation of the Public Works facility, fire station upgrades, complete streets and many parks and environmental projects in addition to the replacement of non-functioning and inefficient trucks in Public Works, Fire, and Police Departments. “This 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 account for the remainder of the rise in expenses included in the proposed budget. These increases will be offset by anticipated increases in sales tax and one-time revenue streams along with grant funding.
The New York State-imposed tax cap calculation is applied to the tax levy, not to the tax rate. “The $4.1M or 7.36% increase to the tax levy equates to a tax rate increase of 6.72% because our tax base increased by $1.6 million this past year” added Strome. The proposed tax increase for the average homeowner is $227. The increase above the tax cap of 4.84% is a one-time increase that funds the capital plan and equates to $164 or less than 1% of the average household tax bill.
“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.