New Rochelle Democrats Suggest Amendments to 2011 Budget

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New Rochelle Democrats Suggest Amendments to 2011 Budget

November 30, 2010 - 00:33


To: City Manager Charles Strome III
Finance Commissioner Howard Rattner
Council Member Richard St. Paul
Council Member Albert Tarantino
Council Member Louis Trangucci

Fr: Mayor Noam Bramson
Council Member Barry Fertel
Council Member Roxie Stowe
Council Member Marianne Sussman

Re: Suggested Amendments to 2011 Budget

Date: November 28, 2010

We have reviewed the proposed 2011 budget with the goals of minimizing the additional tax burden placed on residents, preserving essential core services, and safeguarding the City's long-term fiscal health and stability.

The following amendments are offered for your consideration. If adopted, they would cut the proposed tax rate for 2011 by 1.63%, from 3.90% to 2.27%, while also increasing the unappropriated fund balance by $350,000 to a total of almost $3,000,000. The year-to-year property tax levy would actually decline by $738,598 or 1.52%, a larger percentage reduction than that proposed by the County Executive. Our suggested amendments are first summarized below, with a more complete explanation of each following.


Proposed Amendment Detail

Finance Certiorari Payments: Finance the projected $700,000 in certiorari costs, instead offunding these payments with cash. Under ordinary circumstances, cash payments would be preferable to the issuance of additional debt, but we note that the City has often financed these costs during times of fiscal pressure (including last year), that interest rates are exceptionally low, and that the City's overall bonded debt has declined significantly during the past decade. Split the resulting general fund savings between the 2011 tax rate and the unappropriated fund balance, in order to provide immediate relief to taxpayers, while better preparing for unanticipated events during 2011 and modestly strengthening the City's fiscal posture moving into 2012.

Reduce General Fund Subsidy of the Parking Enterprise Fund: Raise hourly rates at the New Roc City parking garage from $0.75/hour to $1/hour. This would generate an estimated $400,000 per year, with an equivalent reduction in the general fund subsidy of the parking enterprise fund. While the new rate would be very slightly higher than that of the White Plains City Center ($0.25/15 minutes vs. $0.25/20 minutes), the two facilities would remain roughly commensurate. (Note: A straight-line revenue projection would yield increased parking income of $533,000. We reduce this figure to $400,000 to conservatively account for both a marginal reduction in demand and for a phase-in period for meter re-programming.) Barring unexpected impacts on demand, this action would also provide recurring savings for the general fund in 2012 and beyond.

Increase the Marina PILOT: Increase the Marina PILOT from the current $75,000 to $100,000. As a general matter, we are skeptical of transfers from enterprise funds to the general fund, but make an exception in this case because the Marina fund is currently operating at a roughly $30,000 surplus and because a PILOT structure is already in place.

Budget Amendment Memo (PDF)

There are 6 Comments

How about $25 tickets for using cell phones while driving? Double it in the school zones. This would generate a lot of revenue and make the streets safer.

Robert Cox's picture

I believe it is like $100 for driving and talking on a cell phone.

Am I wrong?

What about a little REVENUE for New Rochelle from IONA? The college can afford it, lets put our heads together and see what we could come up with. Imagine that?

As far as revenue from illegally talking on cell phones and driving, it's already in effect.

A law was created fining users of hand held mobile devices while driving in vehicles back in 2009. the link to see the information is otherwise seen as

New York lawmakers passed a bill that prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices that took effect on November 1, 2009.

The law prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices, such as cell phones and smart phones, to send text messages or e-mails while driving. The penalty for a violation of this law shall be a fine of up to $150. It is a secondary law, which means in order for a person to be ticketed for the offense, the driver must have committed a primary enforcement offense such as speeding, disobeying a traffic signal or other violation. This law will replace laws passed by other jurisdictions in NYS.

The school is claiming to be a church when in reality its a school of higher learing. I'm convinced the only way to get any money out of them is to charge for each police, emt and fire call.

It is $100 you are correct and it should be 150 or more, I'm all for it.

Since nobody abides by the law, I actually favor repelling NYs hands free cell phone law.

Why put another unfunded mandate on the police? They should be focused on preventing criminal activity and not having to enforce hands free cell phone driving. Most states don't even have a law like this on the books. When it 1st passed, I think everyone thought NY was on its way to another "selt-belt" type law that would spread across the land, but it hasn't.

The only way to balance the budget is to cut spending and not figuring out new revenue streams. Its all taxation in 1 form or anohter that we could do without.

And we really shouldn't be borrowing $2.3 million to pay certiori and pension expenses. What a joke! We need to learn to live within our means and not borrow from Peter to pay Paul.