Nearly $2M deficit projected in Ogdensburg’s spending plan

Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 3:19 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - Preliminary budget numbers are out for Ogdensburg and the city is projected to see a nearly $2 million deficit.

This means the city doesn’t have enough money coming in to cover its yearly expenses.

The spending plan, which is on the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting, includes a tax increase that follows the state’s 2 percent tax cap.

Interim City Manager Andrea Smith has encouraged council to override the state tax cap in order to allow the city the option to raise more revenue through property taxes, especially following the city’s recent reassessment.

Last month, Smith said council had no appetite to override the state’s tax cap.

Under the proposed budget, Ogdensburg’s shortfall is $1.88 million.

It calls for about $14.25 million in spending next year. The city would need to collect about $6.7 million dollars in property tax to pay for it.

However, the state’s property tax cap allows the city to raise only $4.85 million.

To make up the difference, the council will either make cuts, raise taxes, or use the city’s savings.

City Councillor Dan Skamperle says to close that gap, overriding the state-imposed tax cap is a must for next year. He blames the council majority for accruing too many legal fees and cutting taxes too much without other forms of revenue.

“Between spending and not bringing in the revenue, they’ve created a dire situation, really, for the city, where now we’re faced with this budget deficit,” he said.

The city council now is minus one member with the recent resignation of Nichole Kennedy. Skamperle fears that will leave the council unable to pass a 2024 budget at all since there are 6 members and no plans to appoint a seventh.

Lawmakers will discuss the spending plan on Monday night.