Breslin releases executive budget

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin released a $580 million spending proposal that adds more than $2.5 million for human services, according to information provided by his office.

Those kind of people who live on the margins those kind of people need our assistance, Breslin said.

He said those hit by job loss, health care loss and the inability to keep up with inflation have been hurt the most by the lagging economy.

"We are determined to keep up our efforts to create housing for those on the margin," Breslin added.

Breslin said he anticipates continued increasing demands for public aid with Wall Street in its current critical state.

"The current financial crisis will affect New York more than any other state.

There is no doubt that the next state budget will include significant additional reductions. And the impact on Albany County residents and Albany County government is unavoidable," said Breslin in a written statement. "Family assistance funding will be increased by $1.6 million and an additional $742,000 has been added for emergency assistance."

Breslin said the spending plan is only 2.2 percent higher than in 2008 " a number lower than the annual inflation rate " despite increases in Medicaid, energy, health care and employee cost of living adjustments.

Information provided by his office states that the 2009 proposed budget features a real property tax hike of 4 percent. This will bring the real property tax levy to $67.9 million.

"For a taxpayer with a home valued at $150,000, this represents an increase of $13 to $26 a year, depending on municipality," Breslin said.

He said sales tax revenues are projected to raise less than one percent over 2008 collections, and the spending plan does not include the use of surplus or reserves.

Due to "economic stresses on the state and policy changes already in place, Breslin is expecting a reduction in state aid of 3.9 percent, or $3.5 million, and he said additional cuts are expected due to the "extreme financial challenges," the state is facing.

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