The City of Kingston’s 2017 proposed budget, unveiled by Mayor Steve Noble on Monday, October 17, doesn’t come with a hike in the property tax levy, nor does it carry with it any layoffs of city employees.
One thing it does do, though, is bring to a close the era of free municipal parking in Kingston. Fees for using city property, like parks and buildings, as well as planning fees and permit fees will rise as well.
According to Noble, the idea is to try to meet the city’s many fiscal challenges, which include a $700,000 jump in health insurance costs, by taking in more money in what he termed “user-based revenues.”
Noble said $175,000 is expected to be raised by metering the city’s six parking lots in Uptown, Midtown and the Rondout. The mayor said kiosks would be installed which would accept credit cards and discounted long-term options would be available. A raise in meter fees is also possible, as well as raising parking fines from $20 to $25. Also, Noble said, users would be able to get alerts on their smartphones when their time is running out and will also be able to add time on their phones. Noble said a request for proposals for the work required to make these changes will be issued shortly.
All told, the 2017 budget comes in at $41.5 million, with $17.7 million to be raised via the property tax levy — the same as the previous levy.
The budget must be approved by the city’s Common Council by mid-December.