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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

City of Yonkers – Budget Review (B6-14-14) - Revised


Released: July 3, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our budget review was to determine whether the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the City’s adopted budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year are reasonable.

Background

The City of Yonkers 2014-15 adopted budget totals $1.02 billion. The budget includes operating and debt service funding of $522.9 million for the Yonkers Public Schools and $497.1 million for the City. The 2014-15 adopted budget is $30.9 million more than the City’s adopted budget for 2013-14, an increase of 3.1 percent.

Key Findings

  • The budget includes nonrecurring revenue of $28 million, authorized by Chapter 55 of the Laws of 2014, which will not be available in future years and will create a funding gap.
  • The City continues to rely on fund balance for recurring expenditures.
  • Revenue estimates for sales tax may be optimistic.
  • The budget includes $5.3 million in revenue generated by red light cameras; the legislation authorizing this revenue is set to expire on December 1, 2014.
  • The City continues to rely on debt to pay for tax certiorari settlements, incurring debt and interest costs.
  • The appropriation for firefighter overtime may not be adequate.

Key Recommendations

  • Find alternate sources of revenue or reduce appropriations to offset nonrecurring revenues.
  • Monitor sales tax revenues throughout the year and take prompt action to adjust expenditures if revenues begin to fall short of expectations.
  • If the red light camera legislation is not approved, reduce expenditures to offset lost revenue.
  • Pay tax certiorari costs through the operating budget rather than through debt financing.
  • Assess the sufficiency of the firefighter overtime appropriation and determine whether expected measures to reduce these costs are reasonable.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236