Proposed 2017 City of Albany budget released

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The proposed 2017 Albany City Budget was unveiled at city hall on Monday.

The total proposed budget is $176 million. It’s all laid out in nearly 200 pages.

“We know that the city faces significant financial challenges,” Mayor Kathy Sheehan said. “We have to reduce that tax burden. We have to reduce our expenses to the best of our ability, and we’ve got to do that by being more creative and working together better with other municipalities. Working together across the board here in the city.”

The budget includes a two percent reduction in spending, which Mayor Kathy Sheehan says comes from cost saving measures like enhanced technology and shared services.

“We have really looked at deficiencies, cost saving opportunities, and we are trying to turn the corner to get us to a more sustainable, balanced budget,” she said.

The tax base expanded by two percent, which increases the tax levy by $1.17 million; therefore, there is a slight reduction in the tax rate for homeowners and businesses.

“The levy is going to go up by a little over $1 million, but that’s because we’ve increased the property tax base,” Sheehan explained. “The property in the city is worth more, and so that’s going to keep rates steady.”

One thing not there is money from red light cameras even though last year’s budget proposed $1.9 million in revenue from the cameras. Sheehan said the change comes from driver’s paying closer attention.

“What we are seeing, and what I’m pleased we are seeing, is a reduction in accidents,” she said. “In the intersections where we have red light cameras, we’re seeing more compliance.”

The budget didn’t have any new fees and includes the funding for the Albany Police Department’s body cameras. There is also a request for $12.5 million in Capital City funding from the 2017-18 state budget.

Mayor Sheehan says the budget has one of the largest spending cuts in the last 15 years.

The proposed budget will head to the common council. Councilors will have until November 30 to approve.


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