Cicero Citing declining mortgage taxes, rising pension and health care costs, increasing contractual obligations, failing infrastructure and the loss of sales tax revenue from Onondaga County, Cicero Supervisor Jim Corl called this budget cycle the toughest ever.
“In my opinion, this is the most difficult budgetary cycle in the history of the town of Cicero,” Corl said. “Reliance on almost $1 million of fund balance last year to balance the budget along with the loss of over a half million dollars in sales tax imposed on us by the county was devastating.”
However, he said, with the help of former Onondaga County Chief Fiscal Officer James Rowley, this year’s budget should put Cicero on the path to fiscal solvency.
“Jim was instrumental in meeting with the board and putting together a budget that’s going to put us back on the right path,” Corl said. “This budget is part of a long-term fiscal strategy for the town of Cicero. I don’t expect to see too many changes to it.”
Made available to the public on Thursday, Oct. 4, the tentative 2013 budget is $11,481,093, up 4.71 percent from 2012’s budget of $10,964,724. Of that amount, $6,916,471 must be raised through property taxes. That’s up 5.5 percent from last year, or $18.76 per $100,000 of assessed value.
“This year the town of Cicero has found itself on the brink of a financial crisis,” Corl wrote in his budget release. “The past years of raiding the fund balance, awarding generous contracts, and now the loss of sales tax revenue to the tune of $600,000, have created the financial situation we now face. In preparing the 2013 budget, my goals were simple: 1. Reduce the cost of government 2. Maintain the current level of services for town residents 3. Invest in our infrastructure 4. Keep taxes manageable with a strategic view of the town’s financial future.”