Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Budget for 2019

This evening, Mayor Rick Rector presented to the Common Council the proposed budget for 2019. His entire budget message will be available on the City of Hudson website in the morning, but here are some of the highlights. 

Rector started out by enumerating the mandated annual expenses over which the Board of Estimate and Apportionment has no control.
  • Health Insurance  The increase in the cost of health insurance in 2019 will be $224,400 or 14.5 percent.
  • Wages  In October, the Common Council passed a resolution increasing the minimum wage for all part-time city employees to $15 an hour. In 2019, that represents an increase of $260,400 or approximately 4.6 percent.
  • Social Security  Payments in 2019 will increase $50,300 or approximately 14.5 percent.
  • Retirement  Payments in 2019 will increase $25,700 or approximately 3.8 percent.
  • Library  The City provides $250,000 in funding to the Hudson Area Library annually.
  • Central Firehouse  The Central Firehouse was built in 2005 by Community Initiatives Development Corporation, and the City has a thirty-year lease on the building. In 2019, the annual increase on the lease is $48,900.
The four biggest items in the budget for 2019 are, in descending order:
  • Police Department  $3,073,681--a 5.8 percent increase from 2018
  • Department of Public Works  $1,911,121--a 2.74 percent decrease from 2018
  • Youth Department  $540,832--a 46.1 percent increase from 2018
  • Fire Department  $236,173--a 1.3 percent decrease from 2018
Rector explained that, despite the state imposed annual tax cap of 2 percent, the allowable tax cap is determined by a complex, multi-step calculation. This year the maximum tax increase for the City of Hudson could have been 7.5 percent. The 2019 budget represents an actual tax increase of 3 percent. 

To achieve a balanced budget in 2019, it is proposed that $429,300 be taken from the fund balance. To compensate for this, the revenue from the sale of 427 Warren Street (the former police headquarters), which, if memory serves, was previously earmarked to pay down the debt on the new police and courts building, will go into the fund balance as a one-time revenue.

The Common Council will hold a public hearing on the budget on Wednesday, November 14, at 6:00 p.m., somewhere in the Galvan Armory, before voting on the budget at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 20.

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