MOUNT VERNON — What a difference a year makes.
Thanks to the generosity of city voters, a second 1/2 percent income tax earmarked for police and fire will free up the city’s General Fund for other projects — mostly.
“That (full 1 percent income tax) is not sufficient enough to meet the demand for health insurance for police and fire,” said City Auditor Terry Scott. “The General Fund will have to pick up the residual. It will be somewhere about $600,000-$750,000.”
“We knew even during the campaign conversations, we weren’t going to quite cover it yet,” said Sam Barone, finance committee chairman.
The original income tax levy, approved in 1982, will be used first to cover payroll for the two safety departments, then new income tax money will be used for payroll and operational costs. Legislation passed in late 2017, set up accounts to allocate the new money and line item budgets for both departments were established and included in the 2018 city budget, which was discussed during a lengthy Finance Committee meeting Sunday afternoon.