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Syracuse City Auditor releases budget report, warns against increasing borrowing costs

Syracuse City Auditor Alex Marion delivers remarks on the 2024-2025 city budget outside city hall, July 8.
Abigail Connolly
Syracuse City Auditor Alex Marion delivers remarks on the 2024-2025 city budget outside city hall, July 8.

As the new fiscal year begins, Syracuse City Auditor Alex Marion is releasing a report with key findings on the city's 2024-2025 budget.

Marion's latest report gives an overview of the new fiscal year, placing emphasis on the values outlined by the plan. He said the budget is a reflection of the city's values and needs to be treated as such.

"Budgets are ultimately statements of values," Marion said. "When we have limited resources, when we have a limited ability to spend money, spend resources, that's when we have to make choices and that's what budgets are all about."

The report offers 25 key findings and six recommendations, including an increase in transparency. Marion said the city and common council should do more to hear from residents during the budget process.

"We need to do more to get the public's views on what's happening with the budget," Marion said. "This is the public's money. This is their resources. The budget is the City of Syracuse's budget, it's the people's budget. And we need to make sure that the people's voices are clear and heard throughout the process."

Marion also warned that the city needs to remain judicious when it comes to borrowing costs, which have increased by over $10 million over the last two years. He said increased interest rates could make for some trade-off down the line.

"Money doesn't come in on the same day we need to spend it, we do need to borrow money," Marion said. "But in an environment of increasing interest rates, we need to be mindful of the fact that our borrowing costs are going up. So we need to be judicious about how we make the choices about what we borrow for and what we pay cash for."

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.