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.
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 2016-17 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 2016-17 budget totals $1.12 billion. The budget includes operating and debt service funding of $570.3 million for the Yonkers Public Schools and $546.1 million for the City. The 2016-17 budget is $46 million more than the City’s budget for 2015-16, an increase of 4.3 percent.
- The 2016-17 budget relies on nonrecurring funding of $11 million which will not be available in future years.
- The City continues to rely on fund balance to close gaps in the budget.
- The City’s budget is relying on a 3 percent growth in sales tax revenues, which may be overly optimistic.
- If police overtime savings are not realized, the City would potentially be over-budget by as much as $1.4 million based on the 2015-16 fiscal year overtime costs.
- The City plans to borrow up to $6.5 million for tax certiorari settlements in the 2016-17 fiscal year.
- With the 2016-17 budget, the City will have exhausted 91.22 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 27 percent over the last 10 years, and the City’s debt service payments have risen 50 percent since 2008.
- For the 2017-18 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 2017-18 budget.
- Tax certiorari claims should be paid from annual appropriations.