County stays on course on tax levy Proposed $ 457 million spending plan includes no property tax increase for ninth consecutive year


UTICA – In an approximately 15-minute presentation Tuesday morning, Oneida County Director Anthony J. Picente Jr. presented details of his $ 457 million 2022 budget proposal for the county legislature council .

Picente said his spending plan had multiple sources of revenue, but, “… for the ninth year in a row,” one of them, the property tax for county landowners, will remain unchanged – by design .

“Oneida County’s proposed budget of $ 457 million does not increase property taxes,” Picente said. “… Zero because we control discretionary spending.
Zero because we create better efficiencies. Zero due to unique revenue sources like the Oneida Nation agreement. Zero because when the pandemic hit, we took strong immediate action. “

Among the financial measures taken in the wake of the now-ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Picente said there had been an increase in sales tax collected this year.

He explained, “Budgeting for sales tax was a challenge for 2022, as we had to take into account new trends and lost revenue in 2020. We benefited from the inclusion of internet sales revenue and we have adjusted an increase from the 2019 budget through the 2022 budget. With an increasing trend in revenue, we have budgeted $ 114 million in sales taxes for 2022. ”

Status of the 2022 capital plan

In the proposed budget, for 2022, Oneida County’s work target for the six-year capital plan (which ultimately extends to 2027) would total $ 29 million and the county could reimburse $ 19 million. dollars in debt.

One budget frustration in developing the plan that Picente spoke to centered around a parking garage project for the Wynn Hospital in Utica, currently under construction, which is part of the Mohawk Valley Health System.

“… We had an agreement between us, the town of Utica and (Mohawk Valley Health System). The city, which received $ 64 million in federal recovery funds despite being shut down for most of the pandemic, has pulled out of the deal and will not be involved in the biggest and most important project. important to the city of Utica during our lifetime.

The county executive continued, “The garage will be built. We have secured $ 10 million in state funding and we will use the American Rescue Act money to reduce the cost of the bail. This will save the county millions of dollars in bail expenses over time. “

After the speech, Picente told reporters that he believes that using available federal money to make improvements at the community level should be a goal shared by municipalities.

Picente added that there are other projects in the capital plan that include improvements to the Mohawk Valley Community College campus, improvements to the county office building, flood mitigation. and more money for roads and bridges.

Speaking on budget spending related to COVID-19 community services in addition to routine public services maintained by the county, Picente said the county government has grown since the start of the pandemic in terms of what ‘it offers to the public as well as to staff.

In addition, the county was able to tap into the new state and federal funding available in order to carry out the projects.

This contributed to the growth of the county.

“We don’t grow up when the going is easy,” Picente said. “We grow when we face challenges. “

• The first public hearing for the budget proposal will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 7 in the chambers of the County Legislature on the 10th floor of the Oneida County office building in Utica.

• The Council of Lawmakers will vote on the county executive’s 2022 budget proposal at its November 10 meeting.

• To see the full 2022 budget proposal: https://bit.ly/3FnQZKe

• To read the address of the 2022 budget of the county executive: https://bit.ly/3oAYVSq

• To see a video of Tuesday’s budget presentation, visit: https://bit.ly/2YpwiMY


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