County budget cuts taxes by 1.5%

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 November 2014 at 12:00 am

Without nursing home, total spending down 20%

ALBION – Orleans County property owners will pay less in county taxes next year, according to a county budget proposal that for the first time doesn’t include the nursing home.

The sale is expected to close soon after Jan. 1. The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center is being sold for $7.8 million to Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC.

That will take 98 full-time and 64 part-time employees off the public payroll. It will also save the county a projected $1.5 million subsidy for the nursing home in 2015.

County residents will see the tax rate fall by 22 cents, from $10.11 to $9.89 per $1,000 of assessed property.

If the county didn’t sell the nursing home, Legislature Chairman David Callard said property owners would have faced a 50-cent increase in the tax rate in 2015.

The Legislature will use some of the projected savings from the nursing home to boost some member agencies and also beef up infrastructure work, including replacing bridges and culverts.

“I believe this budget is one of the finest budgets the Legislature has prepared in a number of years,” Callard said during this afternoon’s Legislature meeting.

Overall spending would drop 19.4 percent from $79,786,629 to $65,015,266. The county’s tax levy, what it collects in taxes from property owners, would drop by 1.5 percent from $16,441,366 to $16,209,165.

This is the tentative budget as submitted by Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer. Residents can comment on the plan during a public hearing at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Orleans County Courthouse.

The budget increases the county allocation to the Orleans County Economic Development Agency from $150,000 to $170,000, the Soil and Water Conservation District from $57,750 to $75,000, the share to the Cornell Cooperative Extension from $219,500 to $225,000, Genesee-Orleans Regional Council on the Arts from $1,000 to $3,000, and the Sportsmen Federation from $500 to $1,000. The four public libraries will remain at a collective $10,000 from the county, according to the budget proposal.