Proposed Budget Includes Tax Cut
Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman delivered his proposed 2022 Tentative Operating Budget and proposed 2022—2027 Capital Improvement Program to the County Legislature today. Manager Fluman will make a formal budget presentation to the Legislature on Monday, October 4, 2021. Both documents are available at www.schenectadycounty.com/county-manager.
The Tentative 2022 Operating Budget includes a 1 percent decrease in the County’s property tax levy and estimates sales tax receipts will be approximately $103,866,175, an increase of $8 million over the 2021 Adopted Operating Budget.
“Over the last decade, Schenectady County has developed innovative solutions to make government more effective and efficient,” said Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman. “Without this dedication and creativity, we would not financially be where we are today, or been able to recover as quickly as we have from the initial economic shock brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are we able to continue providing the services our community depends on, we can do so without increasing the burden on property taxpayers.”
“We commend the County Manager and his team for their diligence in crafting a budget that reflects the Legislature’s priorities of delivering vital services to our residents while holding the line on taxes,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “I look forward to working with Manager Fluman and my colleagues as we move through the budget process.”
“Drafting a budget during the ongoing pandemic is no easy task. I’d like to thank County Manager Fluman and our finance team for their efforts in creating the tentative 2022 operating and capital budgets,” said Schenectady County Legislator Philip Fields, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. “The Legislature will now begin the process of reviewing each budget and conduct several review sessions next week.”
Highlights of the County Budget proposal include:
Holding the Line on Property Taxes
The proposed budget includes a property tax levy of $71,086,465, which represents a decrease of 1 percent from the 2021 Adopted Operating Budget. Since 2017, the average increase in the County’s tax levy is 0 percent, which has saved taxpayers $30 million over the same time period, had the levy increased by the maximum allowed under the State Property Tax Cap.
Changes in the tax levy
Like other counties across the state, Schenectady County’s budget is dominated by New York State and federally mandated programs and expenses. Over 45 percent of the proposed property tax levy will be allocated for the County’s share of Medicaid. 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 $20 million proposed 2022-2027 Capital Improvement Program represents a historic investment in the County’s buildings and infrastructure. This includes funding to complete preventative maintenance on approximately 60 miles of County roads, and 20 miles of surface treatments or “new road” paving.
Projects planned for completion in 2022 include the Nott Street safety improvement project, Highbridge Road/East Campbell Road paving and sidewalk extension, and Helderberg Avenue/Guilderland Avenue pavement preservation.
Providing Services to the Community
The proposed budget provides for the continuation of services residents rely on, including:
- Opioid treatment programs and Narcan training for County staff and community members;
- Increasing the County’s contribution to SUNY Schenectady by 2 percent an additional $2.4 million in capital projects, for a total investment of $3.9 million in 2022; and
- Senior and long term care services including home-delivered and congregate meals, at-home personal care services and medical transportation services.
2021 Budget Presentation and Review Schedule
Monday, October 4: County Manager Budget Presentation & Budget Review 7pm
Tuesday, October 5: Budget Review 7pm
Wednesday, October 6: Budget Review 7pm
Thursday, October 7: Budget Review 7pm
Tuesday, October 12: Public Hearing 7pm
Wednesday, October 13: Budget Consideration 7pm
Meetings will be streamed live on Schenectady County’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SchenectadyCounty.