OVER $500,000 BUDGET SURPLUS

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For Immediate Release:  January 10, 2019

 

MAYOR PALMIERI & COMPTROLLER MOREHOUSE ANNOUNCE OVER $500,000 BUDGET SURPLUS

Marks City’s 6th Consecutive BudgetSurplus

 

Mayor Robert Palmieri and Comptroller Bill Morehouse today announced the completed financial audit of the Mayor’s sixth fiscal year in office (FY 2017-2018) showed an operating budget surplus of $531,000.

A breakdown of the City’s last six fiscal years is as follows;

FY 2012-2013          $931,000 Surplus

FY 2013-2014           $1.5 Million Surplus

FY 2014-2015           $345,000 Surplus

FY 2015-2016            $750,000 Surplus

FY 2016-2017            $377,000 Surplus

FY 2017-2018             $531,000 Surplus

 

The surplus for FY 2017-2018 stems from several positive fiscal trends including the significant expansion of the city’s tax base and increased sales tax revenue which is a strong indicator of economic growth.

 

As a result, the City’s previously depleted fund balance now stands at $6.7 million, the highest level it’s been in nearly 20 years.

 

These overall financial improvements resulted in Utica’s credit rating being upgraded by all three of the leading financial institutions with the City earning its first “A” rating with Standard & Poor’s for the first time in 30 years.

In the past several months, the city sold the Utica Marina and former General Electric Building on Bleecker Street. These two sales alone generated $750,000 in revenue, while also eliminating the city’s costs to maintain these properties.

 

Looking forward, the city is pursuing a partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to purchase street lights currently owned by National Grid. NYPA is providing the financing for this transformational project which will upgrade our existing street light infrastructure, reduce energy consumption, lower utility costs, decrease maintenance/ operating expenses and improve light quality throughout the city.

 

The cumulative impact of expanding our tax base, increasing sales tax revenue, selling major commercial properties and purchasing our street lights, among other important factors, will have a substantive and positive impact on the upcoming budget.

 

The city is finalizing its upcoming budget and the Mayor will present it to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment (E&A) in the next several weeks.

 

Mayor Palmieri stated, “By working collaboratively with Comptroller Morehouse and other partners in City government, we have established a trend of financial stability and responsibility in securing a sixth consecutive surplus. We’ve lived within our means and our positive turnaround has been recognized by all the financial institutions.”

 

Comptroller Morehouse stated, “Today’s announcement is yet another example of how the City’s finances have clearly improved in recent years and is a testament to strong leadership, the implementation of smart fiscal policies and everyone in City government working together.”