City of Syracuse, NY

04/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/09/2024 07:53

Mayor Walsh Proposes FY25 Budget

Mayor Walsh Proposes FY25 Budget

Published on April 09, 2024

Walsh says $341 million budget makes strategic investments in neighborhoods, city services and families

Mayor's proposal includes major new funding for housing

Syracuse Common Council budget review begins Tuesday

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh delivered a fiscal year 2024-25 budget Monday that invests in housing, public safety, infrastructure, jobs, schools, and parks. The $341 million spending plan supports strong neighborhoods, better city services, and pathways to opportunity for children and families, Walsh said. The Common Council begins its annual review of the proposal on Tuesday.

To offset across-the-board cost increases facing city government, the budget anticipates growth in revenue from strengthening property values, improved investment management, and continued growth in sales taxes. The plan draws on the City's fund balance at the same rate as the prior fiscal year, deploys American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) pandemic relief, and proposes a 2% property tax rate increase.

"The budget supports major new funding for housing," Walsh said. "We will inject $2 million in direct funding to the new Syracuse Housing Trust Fund which will add new quality housing and help current property owners fix up the aging housing stock in city neighborhoods," Walsh said.

"Our plan also improves sanitation services with the planned rollout of covered recycling carts. We add staff to bolster permitting and project review which enables development and growth. And we also fund summer jobs for hundreds of city youth and direct more money to city schools."

The budget covers the city fiscal year running from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025. As required in the City Charter, Mayor Walsh delivered his plan to the Common Council on Monday. It will act on a final city budget by May 8. Mayor Walsh's full fiscal year 2025 budget is available for review onsyr.govatCity Budget - City of Syracuse.

Investments in Neighborhoods, Services and Families

In addition to funding existing services, the proposed spending plan includes enhanced city programs and services:

Neighborhoods

  • General fund allocation to Syracuse Housing Trust Fund
  • Funding to resume seizure of tax delinquent properties
  • New class of police cadets who will receive job-ready training and experience to become a police officer
  • Five additional SPD Police Community Safety Officers
  • Syracuse Police Academy recruitment-training program
  • Funding for new Police Academy classes
  • Creation of an SPD Drone First Responder program
  • Expansion of the SPD Alternative Response program
  • Funding for new Fire recruit class
  • Update 911/fire station alerting system at all firehouses

    Services

  • Two additional staff members in Central Permit Office for project and plan reviews
  • New sanitation route optimization to improve efficiency of trash and recycling pickups
  • Citywide of rollout covered recycling carts
  • Planned 23 miles in road reconstruction
  • Planned 14 miles in sidewalk maintenance and reconstruction
  • New year-round Department of Public Works road crew to restore pavement after infrastructure repairs
  • Expansion of replacement program for water pump stations and lead water services containing lead materials

    Families

  • Funding for approximately 800 jobs for summer youth and adult workforce development
  • Increase in aid to Syracuse City School District
  • Staffing for new Parks & Recreation programs at Southwest Community Center
  • Staffing and daily operation of Second Chance City Dog Shelter
  • New full-time Public Arts Coordinator in Parks & Recreation Department

Revenue Sources

Primary sources of additional revenue to the city budget compared to the prior fiscal year come from:

Revenue Increase (Proposed FY24 to FY25)

Source

$7.3million

Growth in city property tax

$7 million

Improved investment management program

$4.5 million

Growth in sales tax

The 2% increase in the property tax rate will move the combined rate for City and School taxes to $28.26 per thousand of taxable assessed value. For a property with an assessed value of $100,000, the rate change will increase the annual tax bill by approximately $55.

The new rate, combined with the increase in total assessed value, will increase the combined City and School tax levy by 6.7 percent from $115.5 million to $123.3 million. The City will increase funding to the Syracuse City School District by $500,000.

The budget proposes drawing $24.75 million from the city fund balance, which currently exceeds $115 million. After the proposed draw, the fund balance will exceed the rating agency-recommended municipal reserve level of 20% by approximately $30 million. In accordance with federal guidelines, the budget also anticipates deploying $11 million in APRA funds to the city general fund.

The 2025 budget is supported by a $2 million services agreement payment to the City by Syracuse University, a $250,000 increase in revenue compared to the prior budget year. SU also makes a $500,000 payment to the City to fund the University Neighborhood Agreement Advisory Council (UNSAAC).

The budget plan includes no projected increase in State Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding. It is the second largest source of revenue to the city but has not increased in 15 years.

"We are making strategic investments in neighborhoods, services and families while managing the ongoing structural deficit facing city government," Walsh said. "State aid to municipalities, including Syracuse, hasn't gone up in decade and a half despite massive increases in costs each year. So even with significant revenue enhancement through better investment management, increasing property values and growing sales tax, a local property tax rate increase is a necessary step toward fiscal sustainability."

Water and Sewer Rates

The proposed budget includes changes in water and sewer rates. A 2% increase in water rates for property owners will offset the rising costs of materials; allow continued investment in water infrastructure; and ensure a continued stable water supply. A typical residential increase will be about $5 per year. Sewer rates will increase an average of $15 per year per single family customer.

Common Council Review

The Common Council Finance, Taxation and Assessment Committee will conduct meetings to review the budget between April 9 and April 25 in the Van B. Robinson Common Council Chambers in Syracuse City Hall. The Common Council will conduct a public hearing on the budget on May 1. A schedule of Common Council budget meetings is available at https://www.syr.gov/Departments/Common-Council/Committees.

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, members of the press should contact the Office of Communications by emailing [email protected].