MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis has presented a $96,090,198 budget for 2014, representing a 7.78 percent property-tax rate increase for residents.
Last year, there was much consternation and bickering among both city officials and residents, as the budget came down to a last minute deal on New Year’s Eve. This year’s discussion could potentially lead down a similar path, as the 7.78 percent tax-rate increase is notably larger than the 6.15 percent increase that has been agreed upon the last two years.
The public will have a chance to air their grievances to City Council members this week, at a 2014 city budget hearing at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, in the City Council Chamber.
Once again, the budget has been affected by escalating unfunded mandates – a factor that has troubled communities throughout Westchester County. This year, city employee benefits account for $29.1 million of the budget, an increase from $27.6 million (5.4 percent).
Under the proposed budget, the police department would receive a small bump in funding for additional overtime and modernization, while the Department of Public Works would receive funds to make repairs to their facility and equipment. The public library stands to be one of the biggest losers under the proposed budget, and would see a $550,000 slash in funding, from $3.35 million to $2.8 million (a 16.4 percent decline in funding).
You can see the proposed budget here. Let us know what your initial thoughts are in the comments section.