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Politics and Government

Miner's proposed budget for Syracuse is $12 million short, will dip into reserve funds

A graphic from Mayor Stephanie Miner's 2016-17 proposed budget presentation.

Hearings will begin today at Syracuse’s Common Council on Mayor Stephanie Miner’s 2016-17 proposed budget. The budget is a mix of costs and revenues rising in some areas and shrinking in others.

“Government is always challenging, but no more so than today,” Miner said.

In a video and letter to the Common Council released with her proposed budget, Miner said Syracuse will face financial challenges in the year ahead. Her proposed budget faces a $12.1 million shortfall that will be balanced using reserve funds bringing the reserve total down to $42.9 million.

There are no proposed increases in property taxes, sewer and water rates.

The largest revenue coming into the city is from sales taxes which are down $1.6 million from what the county projected.

The increase in city spending will be nearly $6 million with about half of that for the hiring of a new class of police officers and firefighters.

Democratic majority leader of the Common Council Steven Thompson said they will be comparing the spending of each department.

“I actually looked at them this weekend," Thompson said. "Starting with the fire department and the meetings, I have no comment on the overall budget right at this time because I have to tear it apart with the other councilors and put it back together. I was looking structurally at how it was and what the departments were, where they stood from last year to this year.”

Funding of $1.5 million would continue for the Syracuse Land Bank which has brought in $5.6 million in back taxes and fees. Nearly 60 percent of the total budget would go towards the Syracuse City School District.

A public hearing on the budget will be held May 4 and the Common Council is expected to vote on the budget by May 9.