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State to Long Beach: Fiscal year 2018 budget is ‘reasonable’

Jack Schnirman, city manager of Long Beach, at

Jack Schnirman, city manager of Long Beach, at a news conference on Sept. 9, 2014. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office said in a review last week that Long Beach has “reasonable” budget projections for the next fiscal year.

City Council members are expected to vote Tuesday on a proposed $93.5 million budget with a 1.26 percent tax increase for the fiscal year from July 1 to June 30, 2018.

The tax increase would equal an average increase of $56 per homeowner, in addition to $60 in sewer and water fees.

The city is under annual review by the comptroller’s office after the city was authorized to spend up to $12 million in deficit financing to recover from a nearly $14.8 million inherited deficit in 2012.

In the 2018 budget, city officials anticipate $44.3 million in revenue for the next fiscal year, including about $9.5 million in garbage collection. Long Beach is set to receive a tax levy of nearly $36.7 million.

“Based on the results of our review, except for the matters described in this letter, we found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable,” the comptroller’s letter said.

Comptroller’s office officials said the city may have underbudgeted for overtime in next year’s budget, which is projected for $2.7 million. As of March 31, 2017, the city had spent $2.6 million, which exceeded this fiscal year’s budget by $503,000.

Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said the city is expected to meet overtime projections next year after court-ordered negotiations led to a settlement with the city’s paid fire department to cap overtime.

“For the fourth year in a row, we are pleased the state comptroller office reviewed our budget and show we’ve remained on the right track,” Schnirman said.

The city followed last year’s recommendations to remove one-time revenue for an unrealized property sale, changed beach pass revenue estimates and increased sanitation charges, water rates and sewer rents.

The comptroller’s recommendations for next year include authorizing garbage increases before the budget and reducing overtime.

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