City of Yonkers – Budget Review (B18-6-7)

Issued Date
July 30, 2018

[read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Budget Review

The purpose of our budget review was to identify issues which impact the City of Yonkers’ financial condition in the current and future years.

Key Findings

  • The 2018-19 budget relies on nonrecurring revenue of $59.2 million, such as fund balance and State aid, to balance its budget.
  • Police overtime costs could potentially be over budget by as much as $2.5 million based on the 2017-18 fiscal year overtime costs.
  • Firefighting overtime costs could be over budget by as much as $949,000 based on the 2017-18 fiscal year overtime costs.
  • The City plans to borrow up to $15 million for tax certiorari settlements in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
  • The City plans to issue debt of up to $9.8 million for water fund improvements and will incur additional debt and interest costs if it issues debt for these special projects.
  • The City’s adopted budget does not include a contingency appropriation for the general fund, which leaves the City vulnerable to unexpected events.
  • Over the last 10 years, the City’s outstanding debt has grown 16 percent and the City’s debt service payments have risen 31 percent.
  • With the 2018-19 budget, the City will have exhausted 92.3 percent of its taxing authority and the City’s ability to increase property taxes may be limited in future years if property values do not increase.

Key Recommendations

  • Replace nonrecurring revenue, such as fund balance, in the 2019-20 budget.
  • Pay tax certiorari claims from annual appropriations instead of using debt.
  • Establish a contingency appropriation at a level to provide flexibility to deal with unanticipated or insufficient appropriations.