December 30, 2013 —
The budget for Sullivan County for 2014 was adopted on December 19 and comes in within the Albany-mandated 2% property tax cap. Although there was some disagreement previously about the need to exceed the cap, all nine legislators voter in favor of the budget.
County Chair Scott Samuelson said, “We are extremely grateful for the excellent work of the management and budget staff and County Manager Joshua Potosek. Their hard work allowed us to produce a budget that not only stayed within the governor’s 2% tax cap but maintained jobs and services as well as returning funding to vital county resources.”
Alan Sorensen, Sullivan County minority leader and District 9 legislator, said “This year we were able to work in a bipartisan manner to hold the line on spending to adopt a budget to stay within the 2% tax cap.”
“The county staff worked effortlessly in conjunction with the legislature to make the necessary cuts to reduce the tentative levy to the tax cap,” said County Manager Joshua Potosek.
A press release from the county said, “The 2014 adopted county budget includes increased funding to support strategic investments in economic development, public works, public safety, youth, agriculture, veterans and flood remediation. The adopted budget does not include drastic service cuts, layoffs, exorbitant tax increases, or the use of fund balance from the general fund. The existing service levels have been sustained and the budget allows for Sullivan County to modestly build capacity in a few key strategic areas.”
There was one note of irritation in the process of funding county government. After the county sent its press release, Legislator Cindy Gieger sent one of her own, which said, “In moving forward I will be working on guidelines to be included in a resolution for January that will include a summary of the impacts on the tax rate for large bond requests. The bond request amounts were presented today without a thorough vetting through the county treasurer’s office. While we realize the necessity of funding road and bridge repair, we need to be clear going forward of the fiscal impacts of multimillion dollar bond requests before a vote.”