Posted at: 10/01/2013 2:43 PM
Updated at: 10/01/2013 3:00 PM
By: Bill Lambdin / WNYT Staff
The mayors of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy are presenting their proposed budgets for the coming year on Tuesday. Among them, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.
Albany’s budget calls for no increase in residential tax payment, but also no raises for city employees.
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings was somewhat subdued, appearing to appreciate the closing nature of his 20th and last fiscal plan.
“The residential tax rate will remain even, while the commercial rate will see a slight increase of approximately four percent. The increase in the overall levy is within the state mandated tax cap,” said the mayor.
Driving factors in the $171 million spending proposal are $21 million in health insurance costs, and $18 million in retirement expenses.
By contrast, Jennings says his first budget 20 years ago provided just $500,000 for retirement money. That’s 1/36 the amount required for this budget.
In order to balance the ledger, the mayor’s proposal is to spend $9 million of the city’s fund balance – a rainy day fund that will shrink by more than half.
“There will be a thunderstorm if I put it in the form of taxes,” said the mayor.
The City Council will run the plan by the Common Council. Typically, they will make some changes.
No initial opposition to the mayor’s proposals was voiced at Tuesday morning’s press conference.