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County’s $295M approved budget keeps taxes flat

Sales tax revenues for 2012 amended for $1.3 million increase

— Dagostino said Farley’s claims are “just a difference in opinion” and the sales tax revenue figures do show an increase.

County Legislator Philip Fields, D-Schenectady, said based on the sales tax revenue figures already collected for 2011 as of Sept. 30 the county is at 79.6 percent of the amount budgeted for this year. This figure represents an 8.8 percent growth in sales tax revenue compared to the same time period in 2010.

“If we had kept the same amount of money we received in … 2010, [the county] would have collected over $3.6 million more than what we were budgeted for the last year,” Fields said. “If we decide for next year to grow only 1 percent of what we think we might end up with this year … was enough to offset the property taxes.”

Fields said even if the sales tax revenue does fall short of the “conservative” estimate for 2012, the over budgeted sales tax revenue received in 2011 would be placed into the fund balance and could help offset a shortage.

26 positions will be eliminated through attrition. Over 200 positions have been eliminated through attrition over the last six years.

“After a line-by-line review of the manager’s budget and hearing directly from the public, the Majority Conference presented amendments that will keep property taxes flat for 2012,” said Gary Hughes, Schenectady County Legislature majority leader. “We are proud of the work we’ve done to find solutions to ease the property tax burden on our residents.”

Farley did present amendments to the budget, but the Democrat majority voted them down. In part, they proposed a moratorium on financing and new construction at the Glendale Nursing Home and a resolution to vote on preserving the land next to the nursing home, known as Indian Kill Field, as parkland and forever wild.

“[The new Glendale Nursing Home] may be something the county needs, but we shouldn’t go into this without an assessment or any idea on how this is going to cost,” Farley said.

Estimates have pinned the cost of building a new nursing home at about $50 million, and Dagostino said the legislature plans to stay within that figure.

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