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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

City of Yonkers – Budget Review (B6-15-16)


Released: July 10, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Budget Review

The purpose of our budget review was to identify issues which impact the City of Yonkers' financial condition in the current and future years.

Background

The Office of the State Comptroller, as Fiscal Agent for the City of Yonkers (City), determined that the City's adopted budget for fiscal year 2015-16 and the related justification documents are in compliance with the requirements of the Fiscal Agent Act (Chapter 488 of the Laws of 1976). The City's 2015-16 budget totals $1.07 billion. The budget includes operating and debt service funding of $550.5 million for the Yonkers Public Schools and $519.8 million for the City. The 2015-16 budget is $48.5 million more than the City's budget for 2014-15, an increase of 4.74 percent.

Key Findings

  • The 2015-16 budget relies on nonrecurring funding of $14 million which will not be available in future years.
  • The City continues to rely on fund balance to close gaps in the budget.
  • If police overtime savings are not realized, the City would potentially be over-budget by as much as $2.1 million based on the 2014-15 fiscal year overtime costs.
  • The City plans to borrow up to $13 million for tax certiorari settlements in the 2015-16 fiscal year.
  • With the 2015-16 budget, the City will have exhausted 88.65 percent of its taxing authority and the City’s ability to increase property taxes may be limited in future years if property values do not increase.
  • The City’s outstanding debt has grown almost 12 percent and the City’s debt service payments have risen 52 percent over the last 10 years.

Key Recommendations

  • For the 2016-17 fiscal year, address the potential budget funding gap by finding an alternate source of revenue or reducing appropriations.
  • Replace nonrecurring revenue, such as fund balance, in the 2016-17 budget.
  • Tax certiorari claims should be paid from annual appropriations.

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