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.
The Office of the State Comptroller, as Fiscal Agent for the City of Yonkers (City), determined that the City’s adopted budget for fiscal year 2022-23 and the related justification documents are in compliance with the requirements of the Fiscal Agent Act (Chapter 488 of the Laws of 1976). The City’s 2022-23 budget totals $1.38 billion. The budget includes operating and debt service funding of $692.9 million for the Yonkers Public Schools (District) and $686.9 million for the City. The 2022-23 budget is $128.4 million more than the City’s budget for 2021-22, an increase of 10.3 percent.
- The 2022-23 budget relies on nonrecurring revenue of $142.7 million, such as fund balance, one-time State and federal funding and sale of property, to balance its budget.
- The City could face a shortfall of $387,000 for parks revenue.
- The City plans to borrow up to $15 million for tax certiorari settlements in the 2022-23 fiscal year. Tax certiorari is the legal process by which a property owner can challenge the real property tax assessment on a given property to reduce its assessment.
- Police overtime costs could potentially be over budget by as much as $591,000.
- Workers’ compensation costs could potentially be over budget by as much as $482,000.
- Firefighting overtime costs could potentially be over budget by as much as $221,000 based on the 2021-22 fiscal year overtime costs.
- The City should be mindful to ensure appropriations are sufficient for any potential liabilities when contract agreements for collective bargaining agreements are reached.
- Over the last 10 years, the City’s outstanding debt has grown 15.5 percent and the City’s debt service payments have risen 24.5 percent. The City will need $85.9 million to service its debt obligations during 2022-23.
- Replace nonrecurring revenue, such as fund balance, in the 2023-24 budget.
- Develop a plan to address potential parks revenue shortfalls.
- Pay tax certiorari claims from annual appropriations instead of using debt.
- Implement additional changes in procedures to reduce firefighting and police overtime expenditures.
- Review the estimate for contractual appropriations and adjust it to an appropriate level as necessary.