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Feb 1 City Council Meeting

Hello all. I completed my first month at city hall as your Finance Commissioner and I’m excited to share what we’ve been up to.

1. Public Forum

I’m hosting a Public Forum to discuss our budget, our finances and our future plans. Please join us on Monday, February 7, from 5:30 to 6:30pm on Zoom. City residents may use this link to register:

These forums will be hosted monthly and are a part of my ongoing effort for transparency in city government and greater civic engagement especially about your tax dollars.

2. Here is the bi-monthly finance update from me after our city council meetings. We start with some highlights from Governor Hochul’s 2023 New York State budget briefing, released on January 17 that impact our local government.

NY FY 23 Executive Budget Summary (Selected Parts)

  • VLT Aid: The Governor has retained VLT Aid is retained at 2022 amounts.

  • State Aid AIM: The Governor has retained State Aid AIM at 2022 amounts. Other forms of State Aid, including CHIPS, PaveNY, and other transportation aid have increased availability.

  • Modernize Tax Laws to Include Vacation Rental Industry: Subjects all vacation rentals to State and Local Sales Tax, including hotels, motels, B&Bs, and “the growing rental sector”.

  • Equity and Economic Justice in New York’s Cannabis Industry: The State has established three taxes – State tax on milligrams of THC, a 9% excise tax and a 4% local tax on the sale of cannabis in NYS. All revenue will be deposited in the Cannabis Revenue Fund. Re the 4% Local Tax deposit, 25% will go to Counties; 75% goes to municipalities (Cities, Towns, and Villages).

The Legislature now takes its turn to accept, revise or reject the Governor’s budget. The final deadline is April 1st. If this is not met, the State budget continues based on emergency budget appropriations until the FY23 budget is passed.

3. Mortgage Tax Update

• Mortgage Tax is reported to the City monthly.

• Annual collection report include the last three (3) months of the previous year collection (2021) and the first nine (9) months from the current year (2022).

• At this time we have 2022 mortgage tax collections to report that capture October, November, and December 2021 ($434,307.45).

• These three months are running 12% lower than 2020 collections ($491,287.02) for the same time period (which would capture 2019 October, November, December).

• It is too early to determine a trend, and economic indicators continue to show strong real estate sales.

4. 2022 Tax Bills

• 2022 Tax Bills: We mailed over 11,000 City and County Tax bills from the Couty to our residents this week.

Our finance department is hard at work and we will continue providing updates every city council meeting about all the work they’ve been doing.

5. 2022 Bond Resolution

• The 2022 Bond Resolution authorizes the issuance of $8,373,111 in bonds to finance various capital projects included in the 2022 Capital Budget, as well as capital budget amendments made throughout 2021.

Projects include:

  • Various City building upgrades

  • Loughberry dam improvements

  • Implementation of the City “Complete Streets” policy and plan

  • City-wide storm water drainage improvements

We usually release the public sale for bonds in late spring, early summer. I will be evaluating our finances and the interest rates closely to determine the best course.


See you on Monday at the Public Forum!

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