How would you spend the city budget? Now, you can give it a try yourself from your mobile device, tablet or desktop. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the opportunity for Syracuse constituents to engage with the city budget for fiscal year 2023 using Balancing Act, an online tool that simulates municipal 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 nation to encourage citizen engagement on fiscal matters. The platform provides major categories of revenues and expenses alongside explanations and dollar amounts to provide residents with an overview of the FY23 Proposed Budget. Users have the ability to increase and decrease categories with a click, and can cast votes on where to invest more or spend less.
“We are making good progress on the City’s path to fiscal sustainability. Part of that process is ensuring residents have a better understanding of city operations and the financial realities we face,” said Mayor Walsh. “With this platform, users are able to get a better view of where city funds go, as well as the tradeoffs and challenges required when budgeting to fund city services.”
Mayor Walsh introduced his fiscal year 2023 proposed city budget on April 11. The $294 million proposal will increase funding to schools, public safety, parks, neighborhood quality of life, and sanitation and litter pick up. The budget holds property tax rates level for the third straight year. The Syracuse Common Council is conducting public hearings on department spending proposals over the next several weeks. It will act on a final city budget by May 9.
“Balancing Act makes the budget more accessible to city residents. It’s a visual tool that communicates the key components of the city 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 is populated with actual amounts from Mayor Walsh’s proposed 2023 budget, is available at https://syracuse.abalancingact.com/2223-syracuse-city-budget