Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has presented his 2019 budget proposal. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
McCoy told those gathered in the Cahill Room at the County Office building Wednesday that his spending plan is an example of his efforts to make Albany County a more affordable place to live, work and raise a family. The Democrat added he is proud that this is the sixth consecutive year that he's held the line on tax increases. "We will not be raising taxes again, so I'd like to say that. Our budget's gonna be roughly $711 million."
McCoy says for an average homeowner with a $150,000 home, the county tax rate slightly decreases. McCoy says the budget also does not dip into any general fund reserves, which will have more than doubled from $30.6 million in 2011 to over $60 million in 2019. "Our fund balance has doubled since I've been in office, it's over $60 million as we stand today. I have not touched the fund balance in seven years. I live like we don't have it. But again, being fiscally sound in doing things that make our budget work, that has had the opportunity to grow. And for the legislators that were here in 2008, 2009 when we ran into difficult times because of the recession, our fund balance went down to nothing. So I do take a lot of pride in that and it's something that has worked for us, 'cause for the third consecutive year, Albany County has improved its rating in the State Comptroller's report on fiscal stress, basically saying we have no fiscal stress."
The Democrat says the Albany County Land Bank will receive an additional $250,000, bringing the total funding it has received from the county over the last six years to $2.25 million and the total assessed value of tax-foreclosed real property to $17.6 million since the land bank was created.
McCoy is pressing on in his efforts to revitalize the Albany County Nursing Home: "This year's budget for the nursing home is $2.1 Million dollars. 2.1."
McCoy says it won't be long before constituents are calling their legislators asking them to "get me in" the facility.
Republican legislator Richard Mendick says it’s fortunate to see sales tax revenues and reimbursements from the state. "Very pleased to see that again we have a zero increase budget. As we do every year, we'll take another look at it just to make sure there are other areas that we can cut.”
Mendick says he and fellow legislators are ready to examine the budget in detail. The Democratically-controlled county legislature must accept or amend McCoy’s budget by mid-December.