ALBANY — The county Legislature approved the 2019 $712 million spending plan on Monday, Dec. 3, that cuts the tax levy by about 1.5 percent and the tax rate by 4.3 percent.
At the urging of legislators, the total 2019 projected tax levy of $92.7 million is less than the projected $94.1 million projected to get collected this year.
That tax rate will cost a homeowner in Albany County $3.56 per $1,000 of assessed value, down from $3.72 this year.
“This budget is the result of a thoughtful and deliberate process that involved members of the Legislature and other elected officials, staff, and advocates to ensure that we provide a spending plan that is fiscally responsible for the residents of Albany County,” said the Legislature’s Chair Andrew Joyce.
The 2019 budget funds several initiatives including the county Executive’s Equity Agenda, as well as $8 million to implement Raise the Age and $1.75 million for indigent legal services Reform. Both of these initiatives are fully reimbursable by the state.
The spending plan also appropriates approximately $114 million during 2019-23 for infrastructure, including an additional $22 million for the Nursing Home (bringing the total to $83 million.)
Another modification to help bring about the tax decrease is an increase in projected sales tax revenue by $6 million over what was budgeted in 2018, $268.5 million, to $280.6 million. Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy initially projected to collect $279.3 million in 2019.
“This budget is a victory for our residents and I am proud that we continue to make Albany County a more affordable place to live, work and raise a family and practice fiscal responsibility, all while ensuring no one is left behind,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.
Another major impact is a projected revenue increase of $1.6 million in the Albany County Sheriff’s Department due to a program to board immigrant detainees. This additional revenue helps to lower the tax levy, and provide immigrants with legal and other services. This is the largest investment by a county to date in New York State.
Sheriff Craig Apple stated, “This is proof that when elected officials work together good things can happen,” said Sheriff Craig Apple.
Republican Minority Leader Frank Mauriello, R-Colonie, said increased sales tax and fewer people needing services provided through the safety net are signs of a strong economy and allowed “Albany County to have ample reserves while also providing the first significant tax cut in years.”