Schenectady

Schenectady’s McCarthy does not propose tax hike in 2022 budget

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy speaks during a press conference announcing the Mont Pleasant infrastructure project outside the Schenectady County Public Library Mont Pleasant Branch in Schenectady in July.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy speaks during a press conference announcing the Mont Pleasant infrastructure project outside the Schenectady County Public Library Mont Pleasant Branch in Schenectady in July.

Schenectady City residents won’t see an increase in their taxes, even as Mayor Gary McCarthy is proposing a 10% growth in the city’s spending.

The 2022 budget of $97.4 million, up $8.8 million from 2021, was proposed Friday by the mayor during a virtual meeting. The budget also calls for the addition of 45 jobs that were cut due to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the city to 520 employees.

The police department will get back nine officer positions, said Chief Eric Clifford.

“Last year when the difficult decision was made to reduce the number of officers funded, Mayor McCarthy expressed the desire to restore the positions if the city was able to do so financially,” Clifford said.

He said he was thankful the positions were restored.

Those positions will be covered by American Rescue Plan funding, totaling $450,324. When the city goes to do its 2023 budget McCarthy said officials will need to look at the positions funded by federal money and review the city’s revenues and other funding mechanisms next year to determine which positions will be kept.

Police departments across the nation have struggled to hire officers in recent months. Clifford said he’s not concerned with being able to hire officers.

“We are anticipating the need to give another exam next year and in preparation will continue to recruit interested candidates to prepare for and sit for the next exam,” he said.

Federal money — $300,000 — will also be used for the LEAD Program, McCarthy said. That program is aimed at helping the police department be more proactive regarding gang and gun violence. McCarthy said that program will be a partnership with the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department and hopefully state agencies. A more in-depth discussion will be forthcoming on that as the council reviews the budget, he said.

In total, the city is planning to use $4.3 million in American Rescue Plan money.

The mayor is continuing discussions with city neighborhoods on the use of $53 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Budget meetings will be announced after the city council meets Monday, said Council President John Mootooveren.

“I think its a good step in the right direction,” he said, noting nobody wants a tax increase.

He said he would not comment further on the budget until he’s had a more in depth look at it.

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at 518-478-3320 or [email protected]

Adopted 2021 Proposed 2022 Percent Change
Total spending $88,539,604 $97,362,233 10%
Tax levy $31,083,411 $31,609,000 1.7%
Tax rate per $1,000 assessed value $12.96 $12.96 0%

Categories: Schenectady County

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