Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 presented his 2016 city budget recommendation to the Common Council on Oct. 1, describing it as likely “the most boring of his administration,” The Ithaca Journal reported earlier this month.
“It means we’re finally reaching stability,” he said, affirming that initiatives to spur the economy since the recession have generated increased revenue for the city, according to The Journal.
Although the budget will remain largely the same, the mayor’s proposal contains a number of changes to advance his financial goals for 2016, which include reducing the tax burden on city taxpayers and continuing to move operating expenses from borrowed capital.
In order to achieve these goals, there will not be an increase in the tax rate, which will remain at a rate of $12.89 per $1,000 assessed value. However, Myrick is also proposing a small increase in the tax levy of 1.7 percent, according to The Ithaca Voice. In addition, the city will also aim to “purchase more efficiently and economically,” which may involve the restructuring of some departments, according to an outlining of the city’s 2016 financial goals on the city’s website.
Most of the changes in the mayor’s budget are related to investments in specific departments. While the fire department will see funding decrease by $153,432, the police department has been allocated just over $120,000 more than it was last year. Part of this increase will go towards financing the purchase of body cameras and potentially to support a proposal for psychological evaluations for new recruits, according to The Journal.
The renovated Ithaca Commons will receive more than $1 million in funding, a large increase from the $777,000 it received last year.
Budget meetings will continue throughout October, with the mayor presenting it to different municipal departments on different days, according to the city’s website. The council will have the opportunity to modify the budget, after which the departments will be informed of any potential changes.
A tentative budget approval meeting will take place Nov. 10, according to a schedule released by the City of Ithaca.