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Brooks unveils county budget that complies with tax cap

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks on Wednesday unveiled her proposed 2015 county budget, which complies with the County’s Taxpayer Protection Act by holding spending below the rate of inflation and ensures Monroe County taxpayers will receive a tax rebate.

The balanced 2015 budget holds the property tax rate flat at $8.99 per $1,000 of assessed value for a the11th straight year, county officials said.

To close a $31.3 million deficit, the budget streamlines operations and eliminates duplication of services to reduce the size and cost of county government, county officials said.

The 2015 grant budget totals $177,688,983, a 1.1 percent increase over the 2014 adopted budget. The 2015 operating budget of just over $1 billion represents an increase of 0.4 percent from the 2014 adopted budget.

 “Closing a $31.3 million deficit was no easy task, but thanks to our commitment to a smaller, smarter and more efficient county government,” Brooks said.

The deficit includes a $25.3 million mandate-driven structural deficit for 2015 and $6 million in new mandates, including a $2.6 million increase in Medicaid costs passed down from Albany and nearly $1.4 million in increased costs for certain retiree health insurance plans.

County offices achieved $7.75 million savings in internal efficiencies for 2015. Through attrition, the county cut 17 full-time-equivalent positions for a savings of some $850,000.

Other savings include:

  • Sale of property tax liens for approximately $9.3 million;
  • Growth in real estate valuations for $5 million;
  • Revenue from a new gaming exclusivity compact between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York State for $4 million;
  • Savings associated with the county’s 2014 shift to a self-insurance model for employee health care for a total of approximately $3.8 million; and
  • Increases in scheduled PILOT payments for a total of approximately $600,000.

To see the budget, go to monroecounty.gov.

 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.
 

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