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Albany County Executive Dan McCoy releases 2022 budget proposal

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy reveals 2022 budget plan.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
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Albany County Executive Dan McCoy reveals 2022 budget plan.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2022.

McCoy's $753 million spending plan stays under the state-mandated tax cap for the ninth straight year. The average $200,000 house in the county will see a $6 tax decrease. The Democrat pointed out that for the fifth year in a row, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has placed Albany County in a category of “No Designation of Fiscal Stress.” McCoy says there will be no layoffs and no cuts to any county programs.

"If you go back last year, we had to fill $28 million, which makes it challenging," McCoy said. "And, you know, we had a right the financial ship, which I've been saying since 2012. And I kind of want to just you know, it's a story. I've been here 10 years. And when I first took over, we were borrowing money to make payroll, we didn't even have enough money to make payroll, we had about 19 or $21 million in our reserves, and we owed the state comptroller $30 million for retirement, not the situation you want to be in. And we had union contracts that were outdated four to five years. We fixed all that working together."

McCoy's budget includes a Comprehensive Workforce Development Plan to provide county workers improved longevity pay and benefits. He notes the county continues to pay down debts while adding money to reserves. McCoy says a hefty portion of the budget is out of his control:

"80% of the total budget is mandated," the Democrat said. "The majority which is unfunded is 60% from the state and feds, with mandates for another 20% of the budget from local laws."

Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce, a fellow Democrat, says the panel is "excited." "

And ready to do a thorough, thoughtful and comprehensive review of the county executives proposed budget," Joyce said. "Our initial reaction to the budget shows that the county executive is committed to making investments in our workforce that are long standing and will have a meaningful impact over the next several years, while also streamlining county services and putting us in a position to deliver county services in a way that we haven't before and all while maintaining those critical services and cutting taxes. So it's a it's a good budget, and we're looking forward to get into work."

The legislature is set to begin a series of meetings as part of its annual review of the budget Monday. The review deadline is December 8.

Urging "fiscal caution and restraint," Republican Minority Leader Frank Mauriello said in a statement the spending plan appears to avoid reckless spending, and added he looks forward to working on the budget with McCoy and fellow legislators.

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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