County’s tentative budget would raise taxes by 2.5%
ALBION – The tentative budget for Orleans County in 2018 has been filed and shows a 2.5 percent increase in taxes.
The tax levy, what the county collects in taxes, would increase by $421,913, from $16,728,410 to $17,150,323.
The tax rate would increase by 19 cents or 1.9 percent to $10.05 per $1,000 of assessed property, according to the budget submitted by Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer.
The budget is within the state-imposed property tax cap because the county has some carryover from prior years when it was below the cap level. The levy since 2014 has grown a collective 4.31 percent, or an average of 1.08 percent annually, Nesbitt said.
The tentative budget proposes $69,804,984 in spending, which is up 6.4 percent or by $4,190,360. The biggest change in expenditures is the $3,646,000 in state- and federal-funded bridge projects in 2018. That is up from $152,000 in 2017, for a difference of $3,494,000.
The budget benefits from a more “robust” local economy, Nesbitt said in his budget message. Home sale prices have increased, and sales tax revenue is up in 2017, with an additional $610,000 in sales tax budgeted for 2018.
Some burdens on the budget include:
• A $230,000 loss in revenue from the Seneca Nation, which is in a dispute with the State of New York over local and state gambling payments.
• An additional $273,618 for jail operations, mainly with medical and mental health costs, due to the opioid epidemic.
• An extra $202,845 in Medicaid ($8,211,137 total in Medicaid in 2018).
The budget keeps contributions to some agencies flat, while giving some an increase. The Cobblestone Museum, which sought a $7,500 county contribution, remains out of the budget. Other funded agencies include:
• Libraries, stay at $10,000
• Orleans Economic Development Agency, from $170,000 to $180,000
• Sportsman’s Federation, stays at $1,000
• Soil and Water Conservation District, from $80,000 to $92,500
• Cooperative Extension, stays at $240,000
• GO Art!, stays at $3,000
The fee for solid waste and recycling service will be $212 for the year, which is up $5.
There will be a public hearing on the budget at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the County Courthouse.
To see the line items in the budget, click here.