Rockland executive signs 2020 county budget

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NEW CITY – Rockland County Executive Edwin Day has signed the county’s 2020 budget which contained amendments from the county legislature.

The amendments did not result in any additional increase in taxes from the

Day’s proposed budget. The spending plan was adopted by a 15-2, bipartisan vote of the Legislature on Tuesday, December 3.

“This budget holds the line on spending, keeping under the state property tax cap, while we continue to invest in the county’s critical infrastructure needs and meet the demands of an additional $4.5 million in New York State mandates,” said Day. “These mandates are the equivalent of a 3.5 percent property tax increase all on their own.”

The $729.9 million budget is under the state property tax cap and calls for a 2.879 percent property tax increase. On average this increase is approximately $3 per month for a property tax owner.

The legislative amendments include three new positions in the District Attorney’s Office, First Assistant DA, Crime Prevention Aide and an ITS Specialist, which are necessary to implement the criminal justice “reforms” passed by New York State this year.

“This budget sets the stage for the continued renewal and revitalization of County government with significant money set aside to invest in the Pomona Health Complex and in a new Animal Care Facility for Hi Tor,” said Day.

The budget provides an additional $5.7 million in funding in the 2020 capital project budget for Hi Tor bringing the total project cost to $8.25 million which includes significant funding from state grants and donations.

“Having the county take the leadership role on this shared service with the towns means the towns will not have the burden of building their own shelters or finding alternative plans at a significant cost. This is a clear savings for residents and a great thing for the animals we all care about,” said Day.

Rockland County’s finances continue to improve with its Unassigned Fund Balance growing to just over $32 million in 2018. The county receiving its 10th consecutive bond upgrade to A from A- from Fitch Ratings. The county’s improving fiscal health has allowed it to recently settle outstanding contracts with Rockland’s largest unions.