First look at the proposed 2021-2022 budget

City of Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti released his proposed budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year yesterday. The budget calls for a 0.18% increase in the property tax rate, along with an overall 5.64% increase in user fees. However, city officials said yesterday they are prepared to make additional changes based on recommendations from the New York State Comptroller’s office.

At Tuesday’s common council meeting, Mayor Michael Cinquanti said that the comptroller’s office has reviewed the budget and has compiled a letter for the city.  

At the meeting, Controller Matt Agresta said, “[The comptroller’s office] didn’t have the letter drafted when we spoke last week. But from everything I understand, they’re really not changing anything from what we discussed. But the formal letter, we’re going to go through tomorrow to make sure we don’t have issues, they don’t have issues, before it gets presented to everybody.”

Cinquanti wrote in his budget message:

Having the New York State Comptroller’s office examine our budgets and our quarterly performance has proved to be a huge benefit to our city. They serve as a highly skilled and independent budget committee, pointing out budgeting errors and inaccurate assumptions our city has been making and helping us correct them as we move forward. They’ve been stressing the importance of keeping a close and consistent eye on actual expenses and revenues on a quarterly basis. Their guidance and oversight has helped me as mayor and our city controller do a better job managing our city. During the next few months, they will help us with the effort of establishing a long-term financial plan for our city.

The proposed property tax increase from $18.10 to $18.13 per $1000 assessed value, would mean only a $2 per year increase on a home assessed at $80,000.

Proposed increases to yearly per-unit user fees are:

              Current         Proposed
Water          423.28           424.38
Sewer          310.12           341.67
Sanitation     280.10           305.29
Total         1014.11          1071.34

Some of the highlights in Cinquanti’s budget message include:

  • The city will receive $975,000 in “COVID aid” for the current fiscal year and the next.
  • Sales tax revenues did not drop as much as anticipated during the current fiscal year, so anticipated sales tax revenues for the next year have been raised to pre-pandemic levels
  • The city will repay $1.6 million of the $7.7 million borrowed for deficit financing in the coming year, and refinance the remaining balance.
  • Landfill fees charged by Montgomery County are anticipated to be $760,000 in the proposed budget, up from $600,000 budgeted in the current fiscal year, and $520,000 budgeted in the previous fiscal year.

Read the full budget message here

Common council members agreed to begin reviewing the budget next week, but have not yet released a schedule.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.