It is a privilege to present my first annual budget (proposed) to the City of Amsterdam Common Council and citizens.
In order to limit the increase in taxes and user fees some difficult decisions had to be made.
As many of you are aware we are making tremendous progress within the Controller’s Office as our outside accounting firm has been closely working with the Controller and his staff.
This budget maintains the quality of services our community needs and has come to expect. Everything from public safety to infrastructure to blight, we have tried to address all areas in this our first 100 days. I believe this budget is crafted to be fair while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
The property tax levy is under the state mandated cap coming in at less than 1% or .13 cents per thousand of assessed value.
Areas of Concern
Police salaries have risen $249,000.00 for the fiscal year 2016-2017, necessitating the proposed cut to the Deputy Chief position as well as an additional dispatcher. These cuts are necessary to implement a long range plan that will increase public safety services while being financially sound.
Proposed sales tax reduction of some $200,000 mostly contributed by the reduction in gasoline prices. Our projection for Sales Tax Revenues was decreased by $200,000.00 in this budget in light of the recent decline in gasoline prices which help to support our Sales Tax Revenues.
Transportation fund will operate at a deficit, and we are currently exploring all options to alleviate this while at the same time attempting to maintain necessary services.
Employee Benefits down 76K
The rate decrease in the sewer fund is counter balanced by the water fund rate change. This allows the city to profit from its water sale and utilizes those funds to reduce the city property tax burden.
We will continue to move forward with the solar energy projects that began under the previous administration that are projected to save the City hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long term on our energy costs.
This administration will continue to look for areas of consolidation and savings. I believe we have put together a budget that not only is within the tax cap, but provides all the essential services to our residents. I would like to personally thank our controller for all his help and the dedication he has shown in assisting me with crafting my first budget.
I submit this 2016/2017 proposed budget to the Common Council with the hope that they remain sensitive to the needs of our city.
Michael J. Villa