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Albany County Executive 2015 Budget: No Increase in Taxes

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy today presented the Executive Budget for 2015, a $597 million package that proposes no tax increase and reflects the administration’s efforts to cut spending and work within the tax cap. This is the second consecutive year the County Executive’s budget proposal has come in under the state-mandated tax cap.

“This budget is a sound one and signifies that we have turned the corner,” said McCoy. “Our fiscal strategy is paying off and we are getting the job done for taxpayers. We have reduced costs and maintained service levels and stayed within the tax cap. The economy is recovering and we are working to rebuild our finances after years of deficits and tax increases.”

The County Executive noted while a significant portion of the budget is driven by state mandates, the administration has been able to stabilize county finances and reduce the funding gaps for the Albany County Nursing Home. In June, the County and unions representing nursing home employees negotiated new contracts. The projected savings that will result from the new contracts, along with additional operational efficiencies, will cut the County’s share of funding. The 2015 budget forecasts savings of $4.2 million, including a $575,000 reduction in overtime costs. The County Executive stressed that these savings will not have a negative impact on quality of care, and will in fact, allow the County to use savings to invest in needed improvements at the facility, so as to improve the quality of care. “I remain committed to making sure the nursing home provides a safety net for those who need care. I remain hopeful that the Local Development Corporation will be fully operational next year and that this advisory body will work with my office to continue providing quality care for patients. The progress we’ve made working with the unions this year has been significant and will have a lasting impact on operations in the future. ”

“My administration has again delivered a sound and balanced budget. We’ve done it without using reserves or one shots,” McCoy said. “We’ve maintained our service levels while stabilizing our finances and we’ve significantly enhanced our fund balance. It shows that we are on the right track. I look forward to working with the County Legislature to keeping the county moving forward.”

McCoy’s spending plan goes to the Albany County Legislature for approval.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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