SCHENECTADY — Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman submitted a proposed 2023 county budget to the county Legislature on Friday that includes $377,996,612 in spending without an increase in the county’s property tax levy.
The proposed Schenectady County budget includes a property tax levy of $71,086,465 with the tax rate flat from 2022.
Last year, the county delivered a 1% decrease in property taxes after raising taxes 1.95% in 2021 to account for pandemic-related economic losses.
Fluman will hold a formal budget presentation for the Legislature on Monday at 7 p.m. at the county office building in advance of budget negotiations with the board.
“Our team continues to develop creative solutions to make government more efficient and effective,” Fluman noted in a statement. “Without this dedication and creativity, we could not have sustained the level of financial stability we have achieved over a decade of rethinking and redesigning operations and services. I look forward to working with the County Legislature in its review of this budget recommendation and to continue developing new initiatives for our community.”
Fluman has also put forth a proposed 2023-2028 Capital Improvement Program that includes $44 million in spending on future infrastructure projects, including more than $37 million for capital projects in 2023, with $4.8 million earmarked for airport upgrades, $4.2 million for SUNY Schenectady and $1.7 million in library projects.
In a letter to the Legislature, Fluman noted that the county has averaged a zero percent tax levy increase over the past seven years.
“The savings to property owners over the last seven years has compounded to over $42 million when comparing the allowable tax levy under the property tax cap law to the county’s adopted tax levy,” Fluman wrote. “This is $42 million less levied onto the property owners of Schenectady County. The financial stewardship and decision making over the last seven years has made this possible.”
The proposed 2023 county budget utilizes approximately $12.4 million in surplus and reserve funding.
“Our priority continues to be providing services that our residents need and depend on while holding the line on taxes,” Anthony Jasenski, chair of the Schenectady County Legislature, declared in a statement. “We look forward to the Manager’s budget presentation and working together to finalize the 2023 budget in the coming weeks.”
The budget proposal includes $18.5 million in transportation spending for road paving in the coming year, set for 60 miles of preventative maintenance and 20 miles of surface treatments.
Under the proposed plan, Schenectady County would contribute $2,458,955 to SUNY Schenectady County Community College under the plan, a 2% increase over 2022 spending levels. The county’s proposed contribution to the college’s debt service is $1.3 million, for a total of $3.8 million in county spending on the community college.
The county is projecting $113,866,175 in sales tax receipts for 2023, a $10 million increase over 2022 levels.
“We thank the County Manager and his staff for crafting a budget that reflects the Legislature’s priorities,” Legislator Philip Fields said in a statement. “Sound fiscal management has allowed us to keep the county’s tax levy the same as it was in 2016 while still providing record investments in infrastructure and other vital community services.”