Mayor Walsh invites the community to join in public education of the fiscal year 2023 budget using the Balancing Act platform – Our City
How would you spend the city budget? Now you can try it yourself from your mobile device, tablet or desktop computer. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the ability for Syracuse voters to participate in the city’s budget for fiscal year 2023 using the Balancing Act, an online tool that simulates city budgets. The tool is part of the City of Syracuse’s commitment to citizen education, transparency, and public participation.
The Balancing Act platform is used in communities across the country to encourage citizen engagement on tax issues. The platform provides major income and expense categories along with explanations and dollar amounts to provide residents with an overview of the proposed FY23 budget. Users have the ability to increase and decrease categories with one click, and can vote on where to invest more or spend less.
“We are making good progress on the road to financial sustainability for the City. Part of this process is ensuring residents have a better understanding of city operations and the financial realities we face,” said Mayor Walsh. “With this platform, users can get a better view of where city funds are going, as well as the trade-offs and challenges needed when budgeting to fund city services.”
Mayor Walsh presented his proposed municipal budget for fiscal year 2023 on April 11. The $294 million proposal will increase funding for schools, public safety, parks, neighborhood quality of life, sanitation and trash removal. The budget maintains property tax rates at the same level for the third consecutive year. The Syracuse Common Council is holding public hearings on the department’s spending proposals over the next few weeks. He will act on a final city budget by May 9.
“The Balancing Act makes the budget more accessible to city dwellers. It’s a visual tool that communicates key elements of the city’s budget better than a 300-page document,” said Tim Rudd, budget director.
The city first launched a Balancing Act budget simulation in 2021. This year’s online simulation, which contains actual amounts of Mayor Walsh’s proposed budget for 2023, is available at https://syracuse .abalancingact.com/2223-syracuse-city-budget