Pilozzi presents budget to City of Tonawanda Common Council
The proposed budget plan will result in a 1.58 percent increase in the city property tax rate. This will take the rate from $16.43 to $16.69 per 1,000 assessed valuations. This represents a 1.99 percent increase in property tax levy.
The city is estimated to increase its contribution to the New York State Retirement system by $555,000. The increases will continue, in the short term, due to multi-billion dollar reserve losses in 2008 from the Retirement System investment portfolio.
The mayor has put together a budget trying to control budgeted overtime expenses. However, the current proposal maintains current staffing positions. Personnel costs account for about $15 million, 76 percent, of total general fund expenditures.
The city is trying to work with its current employees and retirees to control the cost of health insurance, which are projected at $3.4 million for 2013. According to the proposal, Personnel costs are normally the most significant part of the budget. The property tax cap will result in the city downsizing its overall workforce by continued department consolidation and shared service options with other local governments.
The General Fund Debt Service for the upcoming year is approximately $1.4 million. A proposed tax levy of $10.1 million is planned and will leave the city with about $3.5 million, which is 29 percent below its Constitutional Tax Limit, and in excess of $25 million, which is 67 percent below its Constitutional Debt Limit.
The Water Fund Budget proposal is a reflection of the elimination of the water department in 2004 and the revenues budgeted at $251,000 represent funds received from the Erie County Water Authority surcharge. These funds are applied to existing outstanding indebtedness owed on bonded water projects.
The Sewer Fund Budget began in 2012 with a deficit of $31,000. This year, the proposed budget is about $1.95 million. The city pays the Town of Tonawanda about $975,000 million annually for sewage treatment.
The mayor is also looking for $30,000 of operating funds to continue progress for the Spaulding Commerce Park project, which provides funds for demolition of abandoned and unsafe structures. There would also be another $15,000 for Matching Grant Funds and Capital Community Projects.
According to the proposal the city maintains a sound financial position; this is confirmed by the 2011 financial report and A+ stable standard and Poors Bond Rating.