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Mayor Sheehan Presents 2017 Budget with Largest Annual Expenditure Decrease in More Than 15 Years

October 03, 2016

Date: October 3, 2016
Contact: Dennis Gaffney
518-434-5076 (wk) 518-281-7252 (cell)

For Immediate Release


ALBANY, NY – Today at City Hall, Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan presented a proposed 2017 budget to the Common Council and the public that includes a 2% decrease in expenditures from last year. This is the largest, and only the third, annual expenditure decrease in more than 15 years.

“My administration remains committed to sound fiscal management,” Mayor Sheehan said.  “We have delivered a lean and efficient budget that cuts spending, takes advantage of our expanding tax base and continues to build a bridge toward a more efficient, secure, and self-sustaining financial future for the City of Albany.”

Highlights of the 2017 budget include

  • 2 percent reduction in expenditures, cost-savings that come from enhanced technology, shared services, and reasonable and achievable reductions to non-personnel services and supplies;
  • Modernization of the City’s financial municipal management software, including the implementation of the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which allows for real time, comprehensive monitoring of revenues and expenses; the City also launched an electronic timekeeping system that ensures we are accurately accounting for hours worked;
  • Reorganization to centralize operations to manage city-wide processes and monitor departmental expenditures and revenues, resulting in efficiencies, cost savings, and more enhanced services;
  • Cost-saving departmental measures, such as the pilot automated recycling program launched by the Department of General Services in 2016 that is expected to be expanded in 2017, producing future efficiencies and savings in anticipation of the closure of the landfill in 2021;
  • Tax base that has expanded by 2 percent, allowing us to increase the tax levy by $1.17 million, while also slightly reducing our tax rate for both residents and businesses; the budget includes no new fees;
  • Continued commitment to community and equity, including investments in:
    • The award-winning Summer Youth Employment Program, employing more than 1,000 youth, teaching them positive work skills, and exposing them to career opportunities;
    • The Albany Police Department’s body-worn camera and in-house police academy initiatives which are both designed to continue to build trust in the community and enhance neighborhood engagement;
    • Language access, which will make our City more responsive to Albany’s growing diverse population.

The City of Albany again has requested that $12.5 million in “Capital City Funding” be included in the New York State Budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. This is a request for funding rather than an advance, or “spin up,” of dedicated future State funding.

“We continue to believe our case for this additional funding is distinctive, compelling, and indisputable,” said Mayor Sheehan. “Based on the 2016 assessment roll, more than 63 percent of the value of all property in the City is exempt from taxation, with State-owned property totaling more than 60 percent of that value. Over the last three years, my administration has carried through on my inauguration pledge to serve the residents of Albany by ensuring responsive City government, improving our neighborhoods, implementing effective economic development initiatives, and fostering sound financial management. This budget is a reflection of that pledge at work.”