Saratoga County

Saratoga County adopts $319.7M budget

Tax rate remains same
Saratoga County Administrator Spencer Hellwig.
Saratoga County Administrator Spencer Hellwig.

Correction: Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ed Kinowski is the town supervisor in Stillwater.

BALLSTON SPA — The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a $319.7 million budget on Wednesday.

The 2018 budget includes a decrease in the property tax rate of 1 cent per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The countywide average tax rate will decrease from $2.30 to $2.29 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The $319.7 million budget increases total spending by more than $22 million over the current year’s budget of $297.6 million.

“The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors is pleased to adopt this smart and responsible budget that is good for all residents of Saratoga County,” board Chairman Ed Kinowski, who also serves as Stillwater supervisor, said in a statement. “This is a budget that focuses on the future of our county, it promotes growth, and addresses critical needs in public safety.”

A tentative $319.6 million budget was unveiled in November before an increase of nearly $400,000 was added for personnel.

The tax levy — the total amount being raised through taxes — would increase from $56.9 million to $58.6 million, a 2.8 percent boost that is within the state-mandated tax cap due to an increase in revenue from property taxes. 

The spending plan keeps the local sales tax rate at 3 percent, which is among the lowest in New York’s 62 counties.

“While the county works hard every day to be good stewards of every tax dollar, the sad reality is that every single property tax dollar, and a portion of the sales revenue we collect, is used to cover costs associated with the state’s unfunded mandates,” County Administrator Spencer Hellwig said in a statement. “These are mandates which we have no control over, and these costs continue to rise.

“That being said, the county has focused on fiscal restraint and maximizing services, which is well defined by this budget.”

Over the course of the year, the county has completed a $1.3 million upgrade to the emergency 911 radio system and rehabilitated 20.5 miles of county roads and replaced one bridge. 

The 2018 budget includes $26.2 million in various capital projects, including a $15.3 million new public safety building.

The nearly 63,000-square-foot facility is slated to house the Sheriff’s Department, probation department, public health services, emergency services, 911 dispatch and communications, and more than 13,500 square feet of shared training and conference space.

“An important part of this budget is the commitment to the construction and development of a new public safety building,” Kinowski said in a statement. “This critical investment in our public safety and public health departments reaffirms our commitment to raising the quality of life and fighting against the opioid epidemic.

“This will also help us meet the needs of our growing county, which is crucial to maintaining Saratoga County’s standing as a great place to raise a family or grow a business.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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