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2014 Tentative Budget: Spending and Debt Decreases, Taxes Mixed

Written By Editor on 10/15/13 | 10/15/13


The 2014 tentative budget, set to be announced in a press conference by Treasurer Bill Cherry this morning, will show not only the decline of public expenditures but also the overall decrease in property taxes for county residents, while completing flood related reconstruction without indebting county government or taxpayers.
 
Here are the highlights:
  • While the county's 2014 tax levy is set to rise 1.98% over 2013 levels, the budget actually decreases the equalized full-value property tax rate by 1.52% despite the lingering effects of economic recession and reconstruction costs. 14 Towns will see tax reductions due to the NYS Equalization Rate, while only two will see increases.
  • Expenditures are set to decrease by 7.8% in the 2014 budget, or roughly $6 million, due to the Stream Bank Stabilization project winding down. The budget also doesn't account for Flood Reconstruction Capital Projects because of federal and state reimbursements expected to reach 100% of costs.
  • The County government currently has $29 million in Bond Anticipation Notes, which allows the county to borrow needed funds for reconstruction projects on agreement to repay when that project's completed. However, due to FEMA and SEMO programs, the county is expecting near full reimbursement of costs and our BAN debt to decrease to $25.5 million by 2014.
With county government still wrangling with how to proceed concerning both the county jail and public safety facility, which is estimated to cost $14 million to rebuild and $19 million to construct in a different location, this budget goes a long way towards salving public concerns by already decreasing BAN debts;  an overall reduction in expenditures and the county property tax rate while maintaining a high level of effectiveness in the execution and costs of reconstruction.
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