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Rye's Budget Could Increase $2.88 Million In 2014

Rye city officials are proposing a $34,589,349 budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
Rye city officials are proposing a $34,589,349 budget for the 2014 fiscal year. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

RYE, N.Y. -- Rye officials are projecting a 2.52 percent property tax rate increase in 2014, an average increase of $92 per household.

The proposed budget for 2014 is $34,589,349, an increase of $2,883,000 over the 2013 budget. The bulk of that increase is due to $2 million for capital project expenditures, according to the Deputy Comptroller Joseph Fazzino.

"Prior to the recession, the city would appropriate fund balance for capital projects and equipment each year. After the recession, this funding decreased dramatically before bottoming out in 2012 at zero. Fortunately, the city has been able to add to the fund balance of the past couple of years, and now we have the ability to fund projects once again," Fazzino said.

The city's employee health insurance expenses are expected to increase $306,000, or 14 percent. Salary costs will increase $582,000, or 4.8 percent. Part of the reason for the salary increases include two new positions: an assistant building inspector and an additional police officer. The city's union contracts expire at the end of this year, so the city has budgeted for increase and retroactive pay for the settlement of the contracts, Fazzino said.

Some of the ways the city can balance the budget include increasing revenues and increase the property tax levy. In 2013 the city received $975,000 more than it budgeted for in mortgage tax payments. Building permit revenues were $605,000 more than budgeted. Based on the increased real estate activity, Fassino said that the city expects to receive $400,000 more in mortgage tax payments than in 2013, and $195,000 more in building permit revenues.

"These two revenue streams have returned to levels that we saw prior to the recession," he said.

The 2014 property tax levy is projected to be $21129,446, which is an increase of $566,206 over 2013. The total 2014 tax levy is about $37,144 under the state-mandated tax levy cap.

The proposed 2014 budget can be viewed here on the city's website.

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