AGGRESSIVE BUDGET ACTIONS SINCE GANIM ADMINISTRATION TOOK OFFICE RAISE MORE THAN $8.5 MILLION IN NEW REVENUE, CUT EXPENSES BY $12.1 Million
from Director of Communications Av Harris, 203-814-7992, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Oct. 14, 2016) — Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim today announced that his administration expects that once a final audit is complete of Bridgeport’s fiscal year 2016 budget it will show that prudent actions and fiscal restraint erased the entire budget deficit of $20,000,000 the administration inherited once taking office on December 1, 2015. Specifically, the Mayor is reporting budget cuts amounting to total expenditure savings of $12.1 Million, while new revenues generated by the city and administrative decisions added another $8.5 Million to the Bridgeport treasury in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016. Mayor Ganim is expecting the audit to show that the city ended FY 2016 in the black with a budget surplus of $600,000. A breakdown of expenditure savings and new revenues follows at the end of this news release.
“My administration took office halfway through the fiscal year and despite being told the budget was balanced, we discovered a real mess when we looked at the books,” said Mayor Ganim. “We made some very serious budget cuts, separated more than 100 city employees, fought hard to preserve our state municipal aid, and had to get creative about generating new revenue. And when the final audit is complete, we are expecting it to show that our measures worked! This was not easy to accomplish and we were really not sure we would balance the budget until a couple of land sales came through with substantial one-time revenue. I am grateful for the efforts of many people on my team and cooperation from many rank and file city employees who helped us save money where possible.”
Mayor Ganim continued, “The big picture is that within six months of taking office my administration not only erased a very substantial budget deficit of $20,000,000, but we actually ended the fiscal year in the black with a surplus of $600,000. This achievement is truly remarkable and combined with the new budget we adopted for the current fiscal year will go a long way towards stabilizing and strengthening Bridgeport’s finances. Difficult decisions had to be made but I am proud to say we are moving in the right direction financially.”
Overall, the city of Bridgeport in FY 2016 collected a total of $535,424,526 in revenue, while spending $534,527,763 therefore resulting in a final estimated budget surplus of $600,000
Some of the steps taken by the Ganim administration to increase revenue between December 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 include the following items:
FY 2016 Major Revenue Generation:
Sale of City Properties $6,700,000
Real Estate Conveyance Tax Collections Above Target $500,000
Accelerated Delinquent Taxes Collected $1,300,000
TOTAL FY 2016 New Revenue $8,500,000
Some of the steps taken by the Ganim administration to reduce expenditures between December 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 include the following items:
FY 2016 Major Expenditure Reductions:
Personnel reductions (employee separations) $2,700,000
Refinance of G.O. Bonds (debt service savings) $3,500,000
Fire Union negotiated deferral of leave benefit $900,000
Milder winter/lower cost for supplies, utilities $1,400,000
Health insurance claims cost under-budget $1,000,000
Non-personnel budget lines frozen savings $1,500,000
Reallocation of prior year unused debt earnings $1,100,000
TOTAL FY 2016 Expenditure Reductions $12,100,000
On the new revenue side, the Ganim administration pursued aggressive action to collect delinquent taxes and rents owed the city from various sources. Real estate conveyance tax collections were also higher than anticipated by $500,000 and the city sold parcels of land to Sacred Heart University and the Steelpointe development corporation to account for another $6.2 million in new revenue. On the expenditure side, the early refinancing of General Obligation bond debt to take advantage of lower interest rates saved millions for the current fiscal year. The city also instituted layoffs of more than 50 employees, froze spending in many areas of the budget, negotiated deferred leave benefits with the city fire union, and was also aided with a bit of luck, enduring a relatively mild winter and lower health insurance claims for city employees.
Looking ahead to the current fiscal year 2017, Mayor Ganim’s administration is currently projecting a surplus of $2,500,000 – $3,000,000 if revenue forecasts hold. Mayor Ganim has committed to deposit any surplus generated into Bridgeport’s fund balance, all factors which could improve the city’s bond rating and reduce interest rates for future borrowing to fund major capital improvements.
Director of Communications
Senior Advisor for Public Policy
City of Bridgeport
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.