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The original item was published from 11/8/2013 11:35:57 AM to 12/14/2013 12:10:00 AM.

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Finance

Posted on: November 8, 2013

[ARCHIVED] 2014 Proposed Budget Released

New Rochelle City Manager Charles Strome III today released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2014. Still recovering from the prolonged economic recession, the budget calls for a real estate tax levy increase of 5.83%, requiring an override of the State tax cap legislation, but preserves the City’s existing services.

“Despite some positive indicators in recent months, such as growth in sales taxes, mortgage taxes and building permits, we face considerable hurdles as we enter 2014,” said Strome. “We need to address our capital assets -- our infrastructure, buildings, vehicles and equipment -- where maintenance has been deferred over the past five years due to limited resources. Proposing a budget within the parameters of the tax cap legislation would further defer these needs and seriously jeopardize our ability to provide our existing level of service.”

Under the New York State imposed tax cap legislation, the City would be able to increase the tax levy by 1.63%, or $872,000. This amount, Strome noted, would fall far short of covering union contractual pay commitments; would barely cover the estimated increase in health care costs; and would necessitate $2.2 million of programmatic cuts.

“The 5.83% increase to the tax levy equates to a tax rate increase of 6.52% because our tax base fell by another $1.8 million this past year,” added Strome. The proposed tax increase for the average homeowner is $207, or about one percent of the total tax bill.

The budget also proposes a capital improvement budget of almost $14 million, 70% of which is funded by federal and state grants. A bond issue of $1,961,713 is recommended to finance the acquisition of Public Works vehicles, a fire engine and drainage improvements in the Halcyon Park area.

“We continue to live in challenging economic times. A pro-active, yet cautious, approach to the budget will enable us to 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 10th in advance of the adoption of a tax rate in December.

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