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Olson, Katelin, Alvaro Salas, Andrea Restrepo-Mieth and Dana Westgren. 2014. "Syracuse: Weathering Financial Challenges through Strategic Partnerships." Upstate Case Studies, Dept. of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University.

Limited growth in property taxes, decreases in state aid, and mounting pension pressures are the chief fiscal stressors impacting Syracuse. Just like other Upstate cities, Syracuse’s ability to change pensions agreements and other future cost obligations is impeded by state legislation. State aid, acknowledged to be in decline by the NYS Comptroller, is also outside the City’s control. With a fund balance expected to run out in the next few years, Syracuse is in danger of its bond rating being downgraded and credit costs rising. Yet despite these obstacles, Syracuse is implementing a variety of strategies to improve its existing tax base and reduce costs. Its relationships with local business anchors and Onondaga County have given the City leverage to create innovative programs aimed at reducing expenses, leveraging resources towards more productive uses, and promoting sustainability.

The presentation of this report presented at the State of New York Cities: Creative Responses to Fiscal Stress (2014) conference is available. Additionally, an executive summary is also available.

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Subject: Upstate NY Fiscal Stress