Proposed county budget will cut 10 jobs, raise taxes by $77,422 and reduce tax rate by nine cents
By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON – St. Lawrence County’s proposed budget will eliminate 10 positions, raise taxes by $77,422 and cut the tax rate by about 9 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.
St. Lawrence County Administrator Ruth Doyle offered a budget presentation Monday at the legislature meeting and released and executive summary following presentation.The budget includes no layoffs. All jobs cut will be from positions that are currently or soon to be vacant. Departments hit hardest by cuts will be community services, social services and the district attorney’s office. Departments losing one position include highway, public health, information technology and office for the aging.
“The 2017 Tentative Budget was presented under the New York State Tax Cap and in that regard, St. Lawrence County continues to be challenged by the tremendous need that exists for services and the means to pay for them. The reduction in staff through elimination of vacant positions does create an environment where fewer staff are going the extra mile to ensure the service is delivered to the public. It is the commitment of staff that keep this organization functioning as resources, both financial and manpower, continue to decline,” she said in an emailed response.
According to the proposal, the tax levy will climb to $47,678,366 from last year’s $47,600,944. The tax rate will drop from $8.48 to $8.39.
This is below the state mandated tax cap.
Total spending by the county will drop from $227.9 million to $227.1 million, while revenues will decrease from $18.3 million to $179.4 million.
The county is planning to keep spending on health insurance flat at $23.5 million, but will decrease retirement spending from $6.1 million to $5.8 million, while sales tax is expected to decrease from $55.1 million to 54 million.
Under the proposal a person with a $100,000 home, whose assessment did not increase from 2016 would pay $4.50 less in taxes this year.
The proposed budget will no go before the finance committee and then back to the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators for final approval.