pension bill across all funds is projected to be $33.4 million. This represents a $4 million increasefrom the previous year. Both the State Employee Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire RetirementSystem (PFRS) saw double digit contribution increases which are passed along to the City. Contribution ratesrange from a low of 21% for ERS to a high of 33.4% for PFRS. Pension expense was calculated without theuse of amortization currently allowed under the
Stabilization Program. The City currently owes$7 million to the NYS Retirement System for borrowings done in previous years. Continuing to borrow to payoperating expenses will only add additional layers of debt and is not a sound fiscal practice.
Heath Care Costs
The City’s health care expenditures
for both active and retired employees continue to rise across all funds.Retiree expenditures are expected to outpace those for active employees by $5 million. Since the City is self insured it has no control over the amount or the severity of medical claims. These costs will continue to rise asactive employees become retired employees and new employees are hired to replace them. The City spent$40.5 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 and is projected to spend $44.1 million in the currentyear. The estimate for 2013-2014 is $45.1 million. This budget includes negotiated health care savings of $600,000 from Crouse and Upstate Hospitals.
Expenditure assumptions include:
$0 in allowance for negotiated wage increases for all bargaining units.
A wage freeze for City employees, with the exception of contractually obligated step increases.
$2 million funding of the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation.
$185,000 loss of Community Development Block Grant funding for the Planning and SustainabilityDepartment.
$500,000 funding for integration services for increased software technology expenditures.
$150,000 increased expenditures for title searches on potential foreclosed properties in anticipation of transfer to the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation.
A $1 million commitment to the Say Yes to Education program.
$500,000 for housing demolitions.
Cash capital spending at the recommended 2013-14 level of $4.8 million per the approved City CapitalImprovement Plan.The mid-year report for 2012-13 that was filed with the Council on March 15, 2013 reported that sales taxrevenue had increased over budgeted amounts by $687,800. The April 2, 2013 sales tax receipt of $13,728,100 was $543,200 lower than the budgeted number of $14,271,300. It will now be adjusted to beup only $144,600.
The 2013-2014 budget requires no increase in the water and sewer rates. The current revenues generated byeach fund are sufficient to sustain operations.