BALLSTON SPA – County officials on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $381 million operating budget for 2022, an increase of nearly $11 million from this year.
Passage comes two months after Saratoga County Administrator Steve Bulger introduced the spending plan and proclaimed that the county successfully navigated the financial challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Saratoga County’s operating budget, an increase from the 2021 adopted budget of $370.3 million, anticipates another slight property tax reduction for property owners.
Authorized during the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meeting, Chairman Theodore T. Kusnierz Jr. said the budget reflects “not only our County’s conservative approach to governing and sensible budgeting practices, but also our commitment to investing in our communities.”
The budget, Kusnierz said, lays the groundwork for smart initiatives and investments that will ultimately help Saratoga County residents continue to enjoy a strong local economy in one of the safest and healthiest counties with one of the lowest tax rates in New York State.
The 2022 budget is in line with the tentative budget proposed in October with significant investments in public safety, health and human services, infrastructure, open space and conservation while once again lowering the property tax rate and staying below the property tax cap.
“I am pleased to report the County remains in excellent fiscal shape as we rebound from the challenges associated with the pandemic,” Bulger’s budget statement read. “This is in large part due to the fiscally conservative approach that County leadership has maintained for decades, and that forms the basis for the strong growth we enjoy, which is especially remarkable when compared with almost all other upstate counties across our state.”
Sales tax receipts are expected to be approximately $141 million by year’s end, a slight decrease from anticipated 2021 revenues. The figure will be used as the baseline sales tax revenue for 2022.
Included in the budget is an expected $22 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, the same amount the county received this year.
The 2022 budget once again provides for a slight decrease in the property tax rate without exceeding the state’s property tax cap, the county said in a statement.
The budget includes nearly $5 million in community support grants, including a new $2 million non-profit grant program.
More than $4 million is earmarked for new investments in the sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices for body and car cameras, judicial discovery laws, officer training, and mandated jail programs.
More than $3 million will support health and human services initiatives and the county’s Public Health Services department’s transition to a full-service Department of Health.
A Capital Facilities bond will fund approximately $11.4 million in proposed capital investments to spread the County’s costs of long-term capital projects over 10 years.
As part of the $26 million capital budget for 2022, the Long Range Capital Planning Committee in September authorized the option of a Capital Facilities bond to fund approximately $11.4 million in proposed capital investments to spread the County’s costs of the long-term projects over 10 years. It will support highway equipment and maintenance, bridge upgrades, and facilities improvements, county officials said.
Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.
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Categories: Saratoga County