A $31.7 million city budget for 2013 was detailed for the Rye City Council Wednesday.
By Jon Craig
A $31.7 million city budget for 2013 was detailed for the Rye City Council Wednesday. It relies on excess revenue and savings from this year to balance next year’s spending plan.
“The budget is tight,” City Manager Scott Pickup said at the first of at least three public workshops. “It’s pretty much a stand-still budget. We’re climbing a fiscal hill.”
Acting Comptroller Joseph Fazzino detailed more than $1 million in unanticipated revenue this year that will help offset spending: $388,000 in building permit revenues, $300,000 in FEMA repayments for Hurricane Irene damage, $210,000 in sales tax, and $155,000 in mortgage taxes.
But the City faces nearly $1.3 million in increased expenses next year in employee retirement costs, health insurance hikes, salary increases, and workers’ compensation payments, according to Fazzino.
Total City spending would increase about $900,000 from this year to next. But at least three jobs will remain unfilled: a public works employee, police sergeant, and firefighter.
The proposed property tax levy for 2013 is $20,628,240 or $657,730 more than this year. That’s a tax rate increase of 3.03 percent. The annual property tax increase for the average home in Rye would be $97. The proposed tax levy is about $52,039 under the state-mandated tax cap, Fazzino said.
Several residents expressed a need to spend more money on flood control next year. City Councilmember Catherine Parker said, “It’s time to go back and seek more money from the County.’’
Pickup said the City is still awaiting federal repayment on about $1.5 million in dredging and other storm-related projects from prior hurricanes. The City has budgeted for $120,000 in flood control work in 2013.
The next budget workshops are November 26 and November 28, 8 p.m. at City Hall. A summary of the proposed budget can be found online at www.ryeny.gov.