Proposed Budget Extends County’s Zero Percent Tax Levy Average to Eight Years
Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman delivered his proposed 2024 Tentative Operating Budget and proposed 2024-2029 Capital Improvement Program to the County Legislature today. Manager Fluman will make a formal budget presentation to the Legislature on Monday, October 2, 2023. Both documents are available at www.schenectadycountyny.gov/county-manager.
The Tentative 2024 Operating Budget includes $402,191,374 in appropriations and a zero percent increase in the County’s property tax levy.
“This budget is a testament to our commitment to building a thriving community that serves the needs and aspirations of all its members,” said Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman. “I look forward to working with the County Legislature as they review this budget recommendation and to continue developing and implementing new initiatives for our community.”
“We look forward to the Manager’s budget presentation and working together to finalize a budget in the coming weeks that prioritizes the delivery of services our residents depend on while maintaining fiscal responsibility and holding the line on taxes,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.
“We thank the County Manager and his staff for their diligence in formulating a budget that reflects the Legislature’s priorities,” said Schenectady County Legislator Philip Fields, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. “Sound fiscal stewardship has enables us to maintain the County’s tax levy at 2016 levels, while also making record investments in critical community services and infrastructure.”
Highlights of the County Budget proposal include:
Holding the Line on Property Taxes
The proposed 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
County government budgets in New York State remain dominated by state and federally mandated programs. Over 52 percent of the proposed 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 proposed 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 proposed 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.
2024 Budget Presentation and Review Schedule
Monday, October 2: County Manager Budget Presentation, Special Meeting & Budget Review 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 3: Budget Review 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 4: Budget Review 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 5: Budget Review 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 10: Public Hearing 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12: Budget Consideration 6:00 p.m.
Meetings will be streamed live on Schenectady County’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/SchenectadyCounty.