Albany's budget was unveiled Tuesday and according to Mayor Jennings, the city is "safer, cleaner and more economically vibrant." YNN's Karen Tararache has the details on what will change and what won't for residents and the workforce this coming year.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Mayor Jerry Jennings unveiled his final budget proposal. Twenty years after his first, he praised the city's revitalization projects over the past year.
Jennings said, "Soon there will be a first class new hotel at the historic DeWitt Clinton and our successful efforts to save Wellington Row will pay off as these historic buildings begin to be revitalized into commercial, retail and residential use."
He then admitted that if New York State assisted with aid proportionate to that of other cities, Albany would be getting an additional $35 million a year.
"If we were getting what Buffalo is getting alone, what are they about 500 per capital, we're at 127 and that's without the 19, but if there was an equitable way for them to make decisions we wouldn't be in this situation."
Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo allotted what are called "spin up" payments, which brought the city's funding to $22.85 million. This year, Mayor Jennings announced those payments will return to a $15 million budget, meaning a revenue loss of $7.85 million.
"So instead of extensive personnel cuts, which I believe would be detrimental to the vital services we provide, I have proposed no raises for our workforce," Jennings said.
So no salary increase, but instead, he proposed a four percent tax increase to commercial property owners.
"Homeowners will not be asked to contribute any more money, any more of a tax increase and that's a real good way to say thank you."
After calculating the cities revenues and subtracting its expenditures, a little over $8 million is left in fund balance. It's a number the mayor is comfortable serving his final term with.
"It's a healthy budget. It does not compromise any of the services we have here," he said.