Friday, May 15, 2015

City budget would fund body cameras, freeze tax levy

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2015 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge Rochester Mayor Lovely Ann Warren - FILE PHOTO
  • Rochester Mayor Lovely Ann Warren
Rochester Mayor Lovely Ann Warren has proposed a $502-million budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year that reduces spending by more than $2 million and keeps the tax levy flat at approximately $172 million.

The levy is the total amount that the City of Rochester collects in taxes. Warren said at her budget presentation this morning that she hoped that employers would use the money that they save in taxes to create jobs. 

Regardless of the tax-levy freeze, Rochester residents would see an average $23.79 annual increase in their tax bill due to increases in water and refuse rates, and a tax exemption for veterans. 

The proposed budget also includes up to $2 million for body cameras for the Rochester Police Department. 

The city was able to close a more than $30 million budget gap mostly through a $22 million increase in state aid. 

The budget funds 11 new full-time positions for the city, and there's the potential of up to six layoffs, said budget director Christopher Wagner at today's presentation. The layoff number should decrease, though, Wagner said, because of reassignments and retirements. 

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