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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Tuesday, October 4

2012 Comprehensive Budget preview

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Finance Commissioner Kenneth Ivins will debut the city’s 2012 comprehensive budget at the City Council meeting tonight. Ahead of that, Ivins released some of the preliminary details of the budget—including the proposed tax increase of .54 percent at a kind of Preview Presser (You read that term here first folks).
“It’s essentially one-half of 1 percent property tax increase and my goal is by the end of November we can get the number even lower,” Ivins said, explaining as the year comes to a close, more solid numbers for revenues in the city will come in. “The further you get into the year the better numbers you get for preparing a budget.”
He also distributed a sheet showing the dollar-amount tax increase for homes valued at $200,000, 300,000 and $400,000 (see below, and please excuse the foolish dashes, Blogger isn't cooperating with me).

Home Value===== 2011=====2011==== Increase

Last year’s budget passed with a 4.45 percent tax increase, more than eight times the 20112 proposal.
Ivins attributed the change to better-than-expected sales tax revenues, Video Lottery Terminal funds coming into the city which had been absent for years and health insurance costs which increased, but not by as much as previous years.
One thing that is not driving up the cost was Ivins’ decision not to include the position of reservation coordinator in the budget—a position requested by Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco that created debate and a split vote at the Sept. 20 city council meeting. (the comments in the story are not so split)
"I voted for creating the position," Ivins said. "I've voted to create a number of positions over the years I don't necessarily fund. I felt this was not the right time to fund that position," though he did not rule it out in the future.
Michele Madigan was also on-hand for Ivins' brief press conference. She asked him about the sale of the Lillians' lot on Broadway to contractor Sonny Bonacio and whether the money would be in the budget again. (It was in both 2010 and 2011, though not used).
Ivins said it would be as part of the Woodlawn Avenue parking garage-- since the revenue from the sale is being used for that project.
Madigan, too, said she was pleased to see the "pretty low rate. But I think we could do 0 percent, but I wouldn't want to see that at the cost of any layoffs."
Check in on The Saratogian for full coverage of tonight's presentation on the budget and further in-depth coverage in the days to come (We can't do it all tonight -- damn deadlines).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check to see how much police OT he has in his proposed budget. He is looking at a big deficit there this year.

And check to see how much Johnson has spent on outside legal services. If Ivins is still low balling these in 2012 - as he did in 2011 will be in trouble next year.

Also, how much is he proposing to budget in Indoor rec. facility revenue in 2012. He is looking a big shortfall there this year.

Thank God for Andrew Cuomo and the largest ever City sales tax collections even as the County sales tax is down. Of course these revenues are the direct result of Democratic leadership, not anything that Comm. Ivins has done.

October 4, 2011 at 8:22 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ivins has the $750,000 for the sale of the Lillian's lot in THIS year's operating budget. So how can he spend it twice.

Has he amended this year's budget to remove the revenue and transfer it into the proposed 2012 Capital Budget.

And if so and he ends up with a 2011 budget deficit as he is reported as saying he anticipates, it will be because of this.

This is madness!

October 5, 2011 at 11:12 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appears that Ivins did not meet the Budget submission requirements spelled out at Title 4.4.4 of the City Charter when he presented the budget last night.

They profess heir love for the Charter but they ignore it a good deal of the time.

October 5, 2011 at 11:15 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A 0% budget would be madness. Fourth Quarter of last year reflected record sales tax revenues primarily due to gas prices which have dropped substantially since than. Line item needs to be adjusted. Rec center overall budget will be OK. Projected revenues down but overall expenses will be down as well. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Democratic leadership I assume is the Governor but the cap may end up creating more unemployment in future years. Smoke and Mirrors doesn't work. He has made little progress with the State Unions. At least we have made progress in SS.Why would anyone ask the question whether the proceeds of the Lillian's lot will be in next ytears budget. That's what I call out of touch and lack of reality. Of course the dollars for the sale which are in the current budget will have to made up by increased reveues in other line items in the Finance budget. That's something that needs to be discussed along with out of control unencumbered expenses.Police OT because of manpower shortage but will be overcome by surplus in FD budget. You can't have it both ways and playing politics with the budget by political candidates is a dangerous thing. Next year's budget will be the critical one with loss of Saver program unless restored. Doubt it will be restore. Fed BROKE UNDER DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP. Obviously someone on these commentaries has inside info and that individual should be terminated for making opublic this information is lieu of future budget wowkshops.

October 6, 2011 at 7:38 AM 
Anonymous The Ghost of Alger said...

Meh...haven't been following this dog-and-pony show for a while, but I'm glad to see the same partisan trolls are out there stumping for their respective parties.

I will remind, however, how bad this situation would be had the city bonded out the $30 million Taj Mahal for the PD.

Bullet dodged. And it's something I'll keep in mind at the polls.

October 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM 

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