DiNapoli on Binghamton Fiscal Profile
7/18/2013 (Updated 6:42:56 PM)Encouraging signs but some red flags that's the summary of the city of Binghamton's finances by State Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli.
Positives include Binghamton growing it's fund balance from 1.8 to 9.4 million dollars from 2009 to 2011.
And property values, which climbed over nine percent from 2007 to 2010 while many areas in the country were in decline.
Negatives include higher than average unemployment and 42 percent of children in the city live in poverty compared to 20 percent statewide.
Dinapoli says issues such as declining population, poverty, and property vacancy rates are ones that Binghamton shares with other upstate cities.
"We didn't talk about it much in this report but I know tax-exempt properties are a big issue here which many of the cities are facing as well so I'd say similar. I'd say on the biggest plus side is the ability even during a challenging time to grow a fund balance," said DiNapoli.
"We're learning a lot of lessons. We know we have huge challenges ahead of us and we can't shrink from those challenges. A profile like today's puts all of those challenges out there," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.
Dinapoli hinted that municipalities' payment into the state's pension fund could go down in the next year or two because of strong market performance which has left the pension trust fund at an all-time high.
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