The difficult budget challenges confronting New Rochelle are not unique to our community, but instead reflect nation-wide economic conditions that affect cities coast-to-coast. This month, the National League of Cities released a report detailing the deteriorating fiscal health of municipalities. This report also received coverage in the New York Times.
In particular, the report notes that while revenues for many cities have been declining for the past four years, reduced property values are only just beginning to make an impact on property tax collections, putting further pressure on local budgets.
Of course, every city is unique, with local economic factors, decisions, and governing structures impacting both circumstances and options. By many standards, New Rochelle is faring better than our sister cities. Nonetheless, the wider perspective of the National League of Cities report is helpful when evaluating the conditions in New Rochelle.
I will have much more to say about this subject next month, following the release of the City Manager’s draft budget for 2011.