City bud­get deficit grows to al­most $13 mil­lion

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS -

Mayor Robert Roli­son says the city’s fi­nances have been dealt an­other blow.

Flanked by his fi­nance com­mis­sioner, city man­ager and city fi­nance con­sul­tant, Roli­son an­nounced Mon­day that the au­dit re­port for fis­cal 2015 con­tained a $1.9 mil­lion deficit. Added to the cur­rent bud­get woes, that means the city has close to a $13 mil­lion deficit.

Roli­son, in his first year in of­fice, stopped short of blam­ing the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion but did re­peat his con­tention that un­re­al­is­tic rev­enue pro­jec­tions in pre­vi­ous bud­gets con­trib­uted to the cur­rent fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

The mayor has a $3 mil­lion gap in his pro­posed 2017 bud­get, which in­cludes a 16.5 per­cent tax levy in­crease and a pro­posal to elim­i­nate five bus driv­ers by merg­ing the city’s bus sys­tem with the one run by Dutchess County.

The bud­get also in­cludes a pay­ment of

The city’s bond rat­ing was down­graded re­cently as a re­sult of the fis­cal woes.

$225,000 to be ap­plied to the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar deficit. The mayor con­ceded the amount is modest but said he is do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to im­prove the city’s fi­nances.

The city’s bond rat­ing was down­graded re­cently as a re­sult of the fis­cal woes.

The mayor also struck an op­ti­mistic note when he said $1 bil­lion worth of de­vel­op­ment in the city ei­ther is in the plan­ning stages or al­ready un­der­way, which will help al­le­vi­ate some of the bur­den on cur­rent tax­pay­ers.

Roli­son’s 2017 bud­get is be­ing re­viewed by the Com­mon Coun­cil.

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