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Schenectady County Legislature Unanimously Approves 2024 Budget

Schenectady County 2024 Budget Graphic

Budget Extends County’s Zero Percent Tax Levy Average to Eight Years, Saving Taxpayers over $56 Million

The Schenectady County Legislature unanimously approved the 2024 Operating Budget and 2024-2029 Capital Improvement Program earlier tonight. The 2024 Operating Budget includes $402,191,374 in appropriations and a zero percent increase in the County’s property tax levy.

“We are proud to announce the approval of another budget that holds the line on taxes while ensuring our residents receive the essential services they need and deserve,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This budget continues our investment in infrastructure, community projects, public health and safety, SUNY Schenectady, and our 9-branch library system, while cutting costs and finding efficiencies to lower the burden on taxpayers.”

“Prioritizing fiscal responsibility has allowed us to continue our investment in the programs and services that are important to the community,” said Schenectady County Legislator Philip Fields, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. “We thank the County Manager’s Office and staff for their diligence in crafting and implementing a budget that reflects the legislature’s priorities.”

Highlights of the 2024 County Budget include:

Holding the Line on Property Taxes

The budget includes a property tax levy of $71,086,466, which represents a zero percent increase from the 2023 Adopted Operating Budget. Since 2017, the average increase in the County’s tax levy is zero percent, which has saved taxpayers $56 million over the same period, had the levy increased by the maximum allowed under the State Property Tax Cap.

Changes in the tax levy

2017: 0%

2018: -1%

2019: 0%

2020: 0%

2021: 1.95%

2022: -1%

2023: 0%

2024: 0%

Mandated Costs

County government budgets in New York State remain dominated by state and federally mandated programs. Over 52 percent of the property tax levy is allocated to the County’s share of Medicaid. This figure is over five percent higher than in 2023 due to an increase in the County’s Medicaid appropriation from $33.5 million to $37.5 million in 2024. Other mandated costs include Temporary Assistance (TANF & SafetyNet), Child Welfare, Community College chargebacks, Early Intervention, Preschool Education, Indigent Defense, Probation, Youth Detention, Foster Care and Public Health.

Investing in Infrastructure

The $39 million 2024-2029 Capital Improvement Program includes over $33 million for capital projects in 2024, including over $2.3 million in library projects, over $4 million for SUNY Schenectady, and $4.4 million in airport upgrades.

The 2024 capital budget includes $20.3 million in transportation appropriations to fund road and bridge infrastructure improvements, including approximately 65 miles of preventative maintenance and 20 miles of surface treatments or “new roads”. Other projects planned for completion in 2024 include Grand Boulevard Pavement Preservation & Improvements Project and the Dunnsville Road Culvert Replacement Project.

Providing Services to the Community

The budget provides for the continuation of services residents rely on, including:

  • Increasing the County’s contribution to SUNY Schenectady by two percent and investing over $4 million in capital projects and equipment for an investment totaling over $8 million for the college;
  • Investments in public safety, including the specialized Targeted Street Crime Unit and Sheriff’s Drug Task Force;
  • Working with local health care providers, law enforcement, first responders, and community partners to provide immediate access to treatment, address systems gaps, and implement new strategies to impact heroin and opioid use, including complete treatment programs, Naloxone training, community housing, and day hab support for those who struggle with drug and alcohol issues;
  • Senior services, including the provision of home-delivered and congregate meals, at-home personal care services, medical and other needed transportation services and a host of opportunities for educational and social gatherings;
  • Support for the County’s Glendale Home, a cornerstone to our commitment to quality elder care; and
  • Childcare subsidies for eligible families and support for providers to increase the availability of childcare within the County.