Savings Now Being Realized Because of Miner’s Choice Not to Participate In NYS Pension Rate Stabilization Program
Miner’s Budget Will Not Include Increases in Taxes, Water or Sewer Rates
Miner: This budget makes responsible decisions and prioritizes innovation to ensure we are a twenty first century city on the move
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Mayor Stephanie A. Miner today released her proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year to the Common Council and the taxpayers of Syracuse.
“This budget makes responsible decisions and prioritizes innovation to ensure we are a twenty first century city on the move,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “From continued investments in programs like Say Yes to Education, we are demonstrating we are willing to make big ideas work for the people of our community. Additionally, by not raising taxes, water rates, and sewer rates, we are keeping Syracuse an affordable City where people can live, work, and raise a family.”
Mayor Miner’s budget proposal includes a total appropriation of over $674 million. $283 million (42%) of this amount will fund city operations and $391 million (58%) will be allocated to the Syracuse City School District. The budget does not include increases in taxes, water rates, or sewer rates.
Mayor Miner added, “Our pension liability will decrease by $2.1 million in this budget. By opting not to amortize these costs by participating in the New York State Pension Rate Stabilization program, this savings will help support other important responsibilities of city government. This was a tough but prudent choice at the time which will now benefit Syracuse taxpayers.”
Major highlights of this year’s budget proposal include:
- Pensions: For the first time in years, pension expenditures from the City of Syracuse will decrease by $2.1 million to an estimated $26.4 million. Due to Mayor Miner’s decision not to amortize pension payments as part of the NYS Pension Rate Stabilization program, this payment will decrease and then plateau, saving the City of Syracuse money in future budget years.
- Taxes, Water, Sewer Rates: The Mayor’s proposal will not increase taxes, water rates, or sewer rates. The City property tax levy will increase by $64,404 to $33,928,036.
- Building Permits: This budget includes a $472,000 increase in building permits to account for major construction projects such as the Hotel Syracuse, Excellus, Sibley’s, and Syracuse Savings Bank buildings, new apartment construction on Remington Avenue and the continuation of the Inner Harbor redevelopment.
- Parks Programming: This budget factors in a $110,000 increase for Parks revenue—including from Clinton Square—due to increased participation in programs and activities.
- Say Yes to Education: The Mayor’s proposal includes a $1.5 million commitment to the Say Yes to Education Foundation to continue providing educational support services to children and families throughout the City of Syracuse.
- Office of Innovation: The newly-created Office of Innovation will be funded through a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. An Innovation Team is tasked with finding creative and innovative solutions to pressing City problems.
- Imagination Library: The budget includes $50,000 in continued funding for Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County to foster childhood literacy citywide through the Imagination Library program.
- AIM Aid: State Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) Aid will remain flat once again at $71.8 million.
The budget now goes to the Common Council for review and approval. The City of Syracuse fiscal year begins on July 1, 2015.