More sales tax revenue could mean more investment in Syracuse

May 7, 2012

More  projected sales tax revenue for the City of Syracuse could mean some new programs, including seed money for a new downtown senior center.  Lawmakers say they want  the extra spending to be an investment in the city.

Recent sales tax projections from the Onondaga County Comptroller's Office added $4 million to the revenue side of the city's ledger.  Lawmakers want to spend half of it on six different items, ranging from a new economic development revolving fund program, to more money for teaching assistants in city schools, to seed money for  a sustainable downtown senior initiative.  There's a common theme running through the proposals according to majority leader Lance Denno.

"They're not expenditures in the normal sense of city expenses. They are attempts to invest in the city, invest in it's youth, invest in its elderly and invest in economic development in the city."

These amendments  to Mayor Stephanie Miner's proposed $662 million spending plan will be voted on when the city budget comes up for a vote today.  The mayor can option to veto the budget if she doesn't agree with the extra spending.

Councilor Kathleen Joy says the projects depend on a certain amount of cooperation.

 "I hope that we can work with the administration; that these programs and this dollar amount are appropriate.  I think it is fiscally prudent.  All of the councilors are behind this," Joy said.

Joy says ultimately these programs could mean more jobs and revenue for the City.