City of Saratoga Springs
Office of the Commissioner of Finance
Michele Madigan, Commissioner of Finance
Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
For Immediate Release
Contact: Commissioner of Finance, Michele Madigan
Telephone: (518) 587-3550 ext 2577; (518) 526-9377
2020 CITY BUDGET PASSES UNANIMOUSLY – CITY TAXES TO DECREASE
Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan called for a vote on the 2020 Budget at the November 19, 2019 City Council. It passed unanimously, and will decrease taxes in 2020.
“Once again, the City of Saratoga Springs comes out the winner,” states Madigan. “Services are intact, initiatives are funded, and the taxpayer receives stable tax rates for my eighth of service to this City.
The priorities presented on October 1st with the first draft of the 2020 budget included capital projects for City Hall, the East Side Fire & EMS, and Loughberrry Lake Dam, as well as operating initiatives for cybersecurity, recreation and trails, public safety service improvements, and Code Blue/homeless solutions. The budget passed during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting remains true to these priorities.
The 2020 Budget now also includes staff funding for the high-in-demand City building and planning departments, increases for local non-profits, a full time hire to address ever-growing threats to cybersecurity, a newly established department for required and much needed trail maintenance, and, in honor of our beautifully green-scaped City and the 1,000 Trees initiatives, doubled amounts for tree purchases. The Public Safety Department is preparing for the new EMS/Fire station and Command Center, as well as for two new police hires pursuant to an assignment that I put into place in September. More hires will be considered throughout the 2020 fiscal year.
Expense increases are offset by the use of healthy reserve funds that have been built during my tenure, strong sales tax and mortgage tax revenue, and the wise distribution of fund balance excess throughout my budget years.
The total 2020 operating budget is $48,715,918, with a tax levy of $16,136,984. This is well within the New York State 2% tax cap, and results in a combined tax rate of $6.0709 for the outside district, $6.0088 for the outside district, and an average decrease in taxes from 2019 of 0.05%.
The City held the required 2 public hearings, as well as 3 budget workshops and 7 City Council meeting public comment periods. I have been available for telephone calls, emails, meetings, and much face-to-face interaction regarding budget suggestions, as have all Council members. The Council expressed support for all recommended changes, as well as a very positive reception and consensus for the 2020 Budget.
The 2020 Budget as now amended is uploaded with the 11/19/19 agenda materials, and is available for review on the City website.
Commissioner Madigan states: “I believe this is an excellent budget for the City and taxpayers, with a stable tax rate and sufficient appropriations to face the 2020 budget year, and the future, feeling protected as well as enthusiastic! I would like to thank the Council for its work, and I am proud to deliver to the taxpayers an eighth outstanding budget with no tax increase.”