Council Okays $274 Million FY25 Budget

By Adam Swift

The city council acted quickly to unanimously approve Mayor Patrick Keefe’s proposed $274.4 million Fiscal Year 2025 budget at Monday night’s meeting.

Following a week of budget subcommittee meetings with city department heads as well as a committee of the whole meeting to discuss the budget earlier in the evening, councillors did not propose any cuts to the mayor’s FY25 budget.

Council President Anthony Cogliandro initially proposed having the council vote on each department’s budget individually, but the council voted 10-1 to vote on the budget as a whole before unanimously approving the budget itself.

“We had a committee of the whole meeting prior to this meeting, and there wasn’t one councillor that had any cuts or any discussion on it,” said Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky. “We had all last week, we had public hearings and meetings, and there wasn’t one comment on … cutting anything in the budget.”

Novoselsky noted that there have been times in the past when the council has voted on the budget as a whole when all the discussions were handled at previous subcommittee meetings.

Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto praised the Keefe administration’s handling of the budget, but warned that there could be a more difficult budget process in the years ahead with the funding for the new high school building on the horizon.

“I think this is a reasonable budget, and I don’t see any reason to cut anything from this budget,” said Zambuto. “But my fear is the next budget and the budgets after that, that’s when we are really at risk.”

The biggest source of revenue for the budget comes in through property taxes.

For FY25, city finance chief Richard Viscay said Revere will have an estimated tax levy of just over $120 million. This includes $2.8 million in natural Proposition 2-½ growth, as well as an estimated $3.5 million in new growth from new construction in the city, according to Viscay.

Just over three-quarters of the property tax revenue is from residential property, and the remainder is from commercial and industrial property.

Local receipts such as motor vehicle excise, hotel room, and meals taxes account for just over $20 million of the estimated revenue.

Viscay said the city has not contemplated any revenue increases for FY25, but that it does plan to do a survey of fees over the summer.

“This budget is balanced with no one-time revenues for the general fund operating budget and very reasonable revenue estimates on local receipts,” said Viscay at the initial presentation of the budget to the council earlier this month.

The city is slated to receive about $117.5 million in state aid, with the majority of that, just over $102 million, going toward the education budget.

There are also two enterprise funds, for water and sewer as well as solid waste, that total just over $35 million for FY25, Viscay said.

The education budget is the largest slice of the overall FY25 spending, coming in at $126,284,616 for the Revere public schools. In addition, the regional vocational school district budget in Revere is $3.28 million.

The proposed public safety budget, which includes the police, fire, 911, and parking departments, has a budget of $32.8 million.

Viscay said this includes two new police officers and two new firefighters.

In addition, Viscay said the city is hoping to get grant money to hire five new firefighters who will help staff the new Point of Pines fire stations, which is scheduled to open in the fall.

Viscay added that the parking department budget is larger this year, since that department absorbed the city’s 40 crossing guards from the school budget.

The general government budget, which includes executive and financial divisions of the city, is proposed at $10.7 million. That budget includes $1 million reserved in the mayor’s budget for collective bargaining purposes, and reorganized human resources and 311 constituent services departments.

The proposed public works budget is $4.8 million, the health and human services department comes in at $2.4 million, and the culture and recreation budget is $2.1 million.

The debt service costs for FY25 on the general fund side of the ledger is $9.2 million, and includes funding for projects such as the Point of Pines fire station and the new public works building.

“I want to thank all the councillors, especially all the new councillors, for having the faith and trust to vote this budget out as submitted,” said Viscay on Monday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.