Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, City Leaders United in Addressing FY25 Budget Deficit

Burlington, VT - Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, Chief Administrative Officer Katherine Schad, and city department heads recently held a press conference to discuss the FY25 budget. The estimated deficit has increased from $9M to approximately $13M. The city is committed to delivering an affordable, sustainable budget that meets the city’s needs. 

Efforts to close the gap include identifying efficiencies, adjusting staffing figures to reflect current hiring challenges, and reviewing programs created with one-time funds. 

The Mayor emphasized a commitment to transparency with City staff, union leaders, City Councilors, and Burlington residents as FY25 budget planning continues. “One of my commitments to the residents of the city during my campaign and now as mayor is transparency,” said Mulvaney-Stanak. “I am also commited to transparency with city employees, city unions, and my city council colleagues,” she continued. 

Deficit Details: 

  • Revenue Shortfall: Actual revenue is $4M less than projected in the FY24 budget due to the use of one-time funds. 

  • Increased Personnel Costs: Initially estimated at $3.4M in December 2023, after more detailed analysis, the increase in personnel costs is now expected to be $7M in FY25. This number reflects current estimates related to salary growth and increased expenses for benefits, including health insurance, retirement, life insurance, and workers’ compensation. 

  • Increased Operational Costs: Anticipated to rise by $2.1M, mainly due to overtime, training, and equipment needs in the Police and Fire Departments. 

Preliminary Ideas to help close the Gap: 

  • Operational Assessment Study: Expected in May, this study will identify efficiencies and cost savings. 

  • User Fee Study: Due in late April, this study will ensure user fees are in line with market rates and accurately account for service costs. Fees may increase next fiscal year to raise revenue while still maintaining affordability and equity. 

  • Increasing Revenue: The tax dedicated to retirement funding will be triggered as required by charter to cover FY25 increases. The public safety tax approved on Town Meeting Day will be used as necessary.  

  • Reallocating Resources: Prioritization of critical projects and programs, potential wind-down of certain programs, and reallocation of ARPA and other federal one-time dollars to maintain general fund services. 

Next Steps: 

  • Department Head Budget Review: Department heads have been asked to review budgets and provide recommendations for FY25. 

  • Community Advisors: A group of six advisors will continue to meet over the next few weeks to advise on additional budget solutions. 

  • Board of Finance Update: The Board of Finance will receive a budget update at the Monday, April 29, 2024 meeting. Department-level budget presentations will begin in mid-May.   


More about the Mayor’s Budget Advisors can be found here.  

See attached the FY25 Budget slides presented at this afternoon’s press conference 

Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office