The proposed Oswego County budget for 2020 includes no tax rate increase for county residents.
Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup, R-Hastings, said the proposed budget contains a generic tax rate of $7.70 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which has remained unchanged since 2016.
The proposal is the “culmination of much effort and cooperation between our department heads, administrative team and the legislators who chair the committees overseeing our operations,” Weatherup said.
If the budget is adopted as proposed, this will be the fifth consecutive year that Oswego County’s generic tax rate has gone unchanged.
The budget is due to be voted on by the full Legislature in mid-December.
The actual 2019 county tax rate paid by property owners varies, depending on their municipality’s total assessed property value, equalization rates and local costs of state-mandated programs such as workers’ compensation and community college chargeback rates.
Weatherup said members of the Legislature’s majority conference focused on a comprehensive analysis of the proposed budget over the past several months.
“We believe this is a good start for what we intend to achieve by working together as we start the next decade,” said County Administrator Philip Church. “It was apparent to me through this process that the Legislature remains committed to the best services we can provide while continuing to be careful stewards of taxpayers’ dollars.”
The Oswego County Legislature’s standing committees will evaluate and consider recommendations to the proposed budget over the next several weeks.
Legislators said department heads and county officials looked at the budget line by line to ensure the correct amounts were being put in the budget. Some of the challenges to the expense lines include the new criminal justice reform law that was passed this year, which might lead to more positions being needed in the district attorney’s office and sheriff’s office.
Weatherup also said “for the first time in recent memory, there is no anticipation of using any money out of our savings account, or fund balance as it is more commonly known, to balance the budget.”