State Fiscal Plan Will Help City Deal with Financial Woes
Yonkers, NY - Facing a budget deficit of more than $80 million, the City of Yonkers will receive millions in additional aid and grants from the New York State Budget. The State fiscal plan will also provide Yonkers with an option to realize immediate savings from future decreases in pension payments (also known as pension smoothing). This could allow the City and the Yonkers Public Schools to access millions of dollars in the short term to deal with their budget gaps.
Education Funds to the Yonkers Public Schools in the 2013 New York State Budget
- $225,006,825 in school aid (an increase of 5.3% from last year or $11 million. This is $2.3 million more than the Governor originally proposed)
- $19.6 million in Video Lottery Terminal Aid for the Yonkers Public Schools (unchanged from last year)
- $750,000 for sports programs in the Yonkers Public Schools (reappropriation from the Assembly)
- $100,00 bullet aid (added by the Assembly)
Local Government Funds to the City of Yonkers in the 2013 New York State Budget
- $108,215,479 for Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (unchanged from last year)
- $1,872,043 in Local Highway Improvements Grants or CHIPS (an increase of $352,000 from last year)
Other Budget Items Impacting the City of Yonkers
- Pension smoothing option could provide millions of dollars in short term budget relief to the City of Yonkers and the Yonkers Public Schools
- SNUG programs throughout the State of New York were funded at $3 million
- New York Youth Works, a tax credit program that helps disadvantaged youth find jobs, was extended for another year
- $8 million for the Saw Mill River Redevelopment (reappropriation)
- $728,000 for improvements to the Yonkers Sewer District (reappropriation)
- $25 million in competitive grants for full day and half day pre-kindergarten programs throughout the State
Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins stated, “My partners in the Yonkers delegation and I worked tirelessly to deliver additional funding and relief to Yonkers and its public schools. The $11 million increase in aid to the schools, plus the $750,000 for sports programs and $100,000 in bullet aid will help the Board of Education close their massive budget gap. And the pension smoothing plan provides another option which could help the City and school district deal with their deficits. These items will provide at least some relief to the cash-strapped city, although they will not solve all of Yonkers’ problems. The State delegation and I are committed to continue working with our local partners to bring fiscal stability to Yonkers.”
Senator George Latimer said, "Any relief that we can deliver for the City of Yonkers is a step in the right direction. With the City facing a large budget gap, it is imperative that we work with the Mayor and local officials to give them the flexibility to deliver the necessary services for residents without raising taxes. By opting into the pension-smoothing program, the City of Yonkers will be able to adjust short-term costs as future savings are realized, preventing further cuts this year."
Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer commented, "I am pleased that this year's State budget provides more resources for our city as it struggles to regain its fiscal footing. The state delegation's joint commitment to the Yonkers Public Schools will allow for significant restoration of needed educational services for our children. I especially appreciate Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's efforts on behalf of the Yonkers Public Schools. We will continue to fight for additional funding to meet the fiscal needs of Yonkers and work together in support of Yonkers' resurgence."
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, “It is great that we were able to work together to help Yonkers. We continue to have work to do but I am confident this budget will provide needed relief to the City and the school district.”