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 2020-21 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 2020-21 budget totals $1.2 billion. The budget includes operating and debt service funding of $641.2 million for the Yonkers Public Schools (District) and $593.6 million for the City. The 2020-21 budget is $15.6 million more than the City’s budget for 2019-20, an increase of 1.3 percent.
- The 2020-21 budget relies on nonrecurring revenue of $67.1 million, such as fund balance, one-time State funding and sale of property, to balance its budget.
- Firefighting overtime costs could potentially be over budget by as much as $4 million and police overtime costs could potentially be over budget by as much as $2.3 million based on the 2019-20 fiscal year overtime costs.
- The City plans to borrow up to $15 million for tax certiorari settlements in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
- Over the last 10 years, the City’s outstanding debt has grown 22.4 percent and the City’s debt service payments have risen 25.9 percent. The City will need $82.2 million to service its debt obligations during 2020-21.
- With the 2020-21 budget, the City will have exhausted 79.91 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.
- Replace nonrecurring revenue, such as fund balance, in the 2021-22 budget.
- Implement additional changes in procedures to reduce firefighting and police overtime expenditures.
- Pay tax certiorari claims from annual appropriations instead of using debt.