YONKERS, N.Y. - The Yonkers City Council and Mayor Mike Spano have unanimously approved a city budget exceeding $1 billion.
On Friday, city officials announced that the City Council has passed the proposed $1.154 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The spending plan is within the state-mandated property tax cap and restores vacant positions in emergency services due to a late change from council members.
Despite recent financial challenges, Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin credited the council and Spano with helping the city reach its first “A” bond rating in three decades. The budget represents a .23 percent increase to the property tax levy, the lowest in 20 years.
"This is now the fourth consecutive, bipartisan balanced budget in four years,” he stated. “The Mayor and the Council have worked together cooperatively and have overhauled the way the city manages its money while instituting tough new financial controls and keeping the city on firm financial footing.”
The budget includes a 4557.3 million appropriation for the Board of Education, along with an additional $35.75 million for school improvements and $5 million for textbooks and equipment, the largest in Yonkers history. The budget also accounts for the hiring of five new guidance counselors for the district.
"We have worked in a bipartisan fashion with the Mayor to restore positions in the police and fire departments which will keep Yonkers as the second safest city of our size in America,” council member Mike Been added. “We've also proudly provided the largest contribution in history to our schools."
Although the city continues to be plagued by unfunded mandates, the budget represents no cuts to vital services and restores the elimination of vacant positions in the police and fire departments, a change that was sought by the Council. It also adds four park employees who will maintain and clean city facilities.
"This on-time budget stays within the property tax cap and fully funds vital services along with important community initiatives like the Untermeyer Performing Arts Council,” Majority Leader John Larkin said. “I'm proud we were able to restore positions in the budget without having to raise taxes to do so."