Revenue Projections Revised Downward

The weak economy continues to impact the City’s fiscal condition. The latest figures from Finance Commissioner Howard Rattner project that our year-end sales tax collections will fall by some $2.7 million relative to 2008, more than ten percent of the total. We expect additional losses, albeit of lesser dimensions, in our property taxes, mortgage taxes, and investment income. While these losses are partially offset by mid-year savings from a hiring freeze, the net-net is still expected to be a roughly $2 million drain on our reserves (or “fund balance”), bringing these reserves close to the floor recommended by municipal finance experts, and thereby limiting our options as we move into 2010. These trends are certainly not unique to New Rochelle and reflect conditions in cities throughout the region and nation, many of which face even tougher challenges. The City Manager will release his draft budget in mid-November for public and Council consideration, and I expect to share additional thoughts about our budget options at that time.