Budget Meets Tax Cap, Builds Reserves, Solves Nursing Home Crisis
10/8/2013 12:15:00 PM
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy says his 2014 budget proposal is the lowest increase in the last five years.
Meeting the property tax cap in Albany County means a homeowner with a $200,000 house will see a tax increase that will cost them less over the course of a year than two movie tickets. In fact, Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy says his 2014 budget proposal is the lowest increase in the last five years and the first time the county has come in under the tax cap since it was enacted by the state.
“My budget plan outlines the path for financial health for the next three years,” said McCoy. “Through partnership and compromise, I’ve proposed a budget that will cost the average homeowner an additional $1.25 month, while adding money to the county’s reserves and solving the longstanding nursing home crisis with the establishment by the Legislature of their LDC.”
The budget was presented to the County Legislature today, two days in advance of the charter-mandated deadline. The administration’s forecasts include sales tax revenue of $243 million, Medicaid outlays of $67.9 million, Community College chargebacks of $10.3 million and $28.7 million in debt service. The budget also lays out a three-year financial plan, which will keep the county under the tax caps through 2017 and enable the administration to increase reserves by $150,000 in 2014 and $1.9 million in 2015.
In the budget proposal, the administration carries out the County Executive’s pledge to partner with the County Legislature to form a Local Development Corporation (LDC), which will manage the nursing home. Given that the legislature passed a resolution authorizing the LDC in July of this year, the budget includes funding for the facility for the first six months of 2014. This should provide sufficient time to ensure the LDC is fully operational and running the nursing home.
The budget proposal also continues the County Executive’s pledge to make county government more efficient and accountable. This budget includes a reduction of 14 positions in the county workforce and continues a trend that has seen a 34 percent decrease in employees since 1995 and 12 percent decrease since 2010. “In 2013, the administration reached key settlements with six unions on contracts that cover seven years, which will add a large measure of stability to county finances going forward,” continued McCoy. “County government has a responsibility to the taxpayers and our workers. Strong and fair negotiations provide a clear pathway for our future.”
A public hearing on the Executive Budget will be held before the end of October.
The 2014 Executive Budget may be accessed at www.albanycounty.com/2014budget
Office of the Albany County Executive