City Adopts 2020-2021 Budget: No Layoffs

I received a press release from Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan reviewing the recently adopted budget (December 1, 2020) for next year. The release is well crafted and easily understood and worth the read. The budget was unanimously adopted by the Council. Here are some highlights:

The total of the proposed budget comes to $46,226M down from this year’s budget of $49M.

There is a 6% increase in the city tax rate. This is the first tax increase in nine years.

The monthly increase will range from $6.00 for a home assessed at $200,000.00 to $20.00 for a home assessed at $650,000.00.

The city budget assumes federal aid. The New York State Comptroller has encouraged local municipalities to make this assumption at this point rather than cut services.

In the past the city has paid into the retirement fund early (December) in order to get a modest discount. The city will now reset the 2021 payment to February of 2022 with no penalty. If, hopefully, the federal government comes through with COVID assistance, these moneys will be used to make the retirement payment during 2021.

The city will sell some of its property.

The budget anticipates a decline of 50% from the 2019 New York Racing Association admissions revenue.

The budget also assumes decreases in sales tax, mortgage tax, and VLT aid.

5 thoughts on “City Adopts 2020-2021 Budget: No Layoffs”

  1. A departure from Madigan’s initial projections. Are we just “working the numbers” to save jobs or is this real? Hoping we don’t get into debt, just so our Council members can get re-elected in 2021.

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      1. Agreed. But all Comissioners and the Mayor vote on the budget. Comm. Dalton has said from the outset that she will not layoff police or fire.

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    1. Comptroller said “budget stimulus before laying people off”. So Madigan did.
      She also noted she can push a $5M payment from Dec 2021 to Feb 2022 if the stimulus does not arrive. Therefore, no layoffs needed at this time.
      Also, the city is always “in debt”, as are just about all municipalities. Long term capital projects are always paid for via borrowing (municipal bond issuance).
      As John noted, Madigan isn’t running for reelection, so no motivation to play political games on her part.

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  2. The Federal Reserve is buying Treasury securities to fund Congressional appropriations. Federal taxes are only relevant to the point that they remove money from circulation in order to avoid inflation. It is very important to understand what kind of debt is being issued. In the case of the Treasury securities, the Federal Reserve holds them on its balance sheet, and can forgive or cancel them at a later date. Funding Federal operations in this manner has been done for a long time now, and this is now being extended to other echelons of government. We should stop selling Treasury securities to foreigners, as we need more control over the monetary supply internally.

    A major tax overhaul should be implemented – which could include the following:
    – Elimination of Federal Taxes for the first $50,000 of income (individual)
    – A 5% National Sales Tax to raise revenue and to limit consumption (think global warming…)
    – Issuing standard benefit cards to all citizens for restricted use funds for food purchases (universal)
    – Increasing the Capital Gains tax, and the estate tax
    – Requiring re-repatriation of corporate funds (ie: Apple and Ireland)
    – Modifying the tax brackets to capture more income over the $400,000 threshold
    – Implementing a stock transfer tax to slow things down and raise revenue
    – Requiring an export tax on most agricultural products to most countries

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