Opinion - Saratoga Springs Politics

The below blog posts are written by John Kaufmann.
These opinions do not reflect the views of Saratoga TODAY newspaper.

Tuesday, 17 October 2023 10:45

Commissioner Sanghvi Reveals 2024 City Comprehensive Budget: A Tax Increase, Hiring Freeze, and a Raid on the City’s Fund Balance

By John Kaufmann | Saratoga Springs Politics

According to the city charter, the Saratoga Springs Finance Commissioner is required to submit the city's budget for the following year at the first meeting of the Council in October.

On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, Commissioner Sanghvi did a PowerPoint presentation of the 2024 budget. Unfortunately, neither the powerpoint presentation nor the proposed budget were available on any links to the agenda so the public was not able to be familiar ahead of time with what she was presenting. The endemic poor quality of the meeting broadcast for those watching at home (regular screen freezes and sound blips for all participants, including Council members) also made the public's ability to follow Commissioner Sanghvi's presentation challenging. The proposed budget and her presentation are now available on the city's website--if you can find them.

Here are some highlights:

-there will be a tax increase for the second year in a row

-the budget includes an unprecedented and stunning drawdown of $3,000,000.00 from the city's fund balance.

-In spite of approving numerous staff increases for her office as well as the Mayor and the Accounts Commissioner in the past year, Sanghvi has now proclaimed there will be no new hires in 2024 (including a position to address the unprecedented backup in FOIL requests)

Sanghvi blamed the tax increase primarily on inflation and the failures of the previous administration.

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