Board of Estimate and Taxation
The Board of Estimation & Taxation reviews selected City department budgets and after receiving recommendations from the mayor and City Council sets minimum tax levies for the funds of different City departments including: The City Council General Fund, the Park and Recreation Board, the Public Housing Fund for Public Housing Authority, and the Estimation & Taxation Fund.
The Board also participates in the overall debt management policy of the City and issues General Obligation Bonds of the City in support of the Capital Program (excluding Tax Increment Bonds).
Furthermore the Board staff assists in the preparation of responses to rating agency inquiries, prepare self-supporting debt documentations and are involved in pre- and post-bond-sale activities.
Finally, the Board is responsible for the Internal Audit function of the City. It identifies internal audit areas for City departments, boards and commissions, and provides audit programs to establish guidelines, policies, and procedures for the conduct of periodic internal audits. It initiates investigations of alleged or suspected misuse of City funds. When requested, the Board also provides assistance to City departments for evaluation of financial controls or other special projects and assists outside auditors.
There is much debate on whether or not the Board should be eliminated and have the City Council take over this work or if The Board of Estimation & Taxation should stay as it is, separate from City Council.
Currently the Board of Estimation & Taxation features members representing different aspects of the City. These members include: The Mayor, the City Council President, the chairman of the Ways and Means/Budget Committee, a commissioner of the Park and Recreation Board, and two members elected city-wide for four-year terms.
Since The Board of Estimation & Taxation works with most of the funds for the Park and Recreation Board it is important that they are actively involved in all the estimation and taxation issues that relate to them especially when dealing with funding.
If the Board of Estimation & Taxation were to be eliminated and taken over by City Council, the Park and Recreation Board would not be fully represented as they should be. By just having the City Council be in charge of estimation and taxation issues there would not be the opportunity for the Park Board to have much of a voice in what happens with their funding. There would also be a greater risk of disagreement when it comes to funding issues.