BUFFALO, NY-- Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz presented his 2018 proposed budget for the Erie County.
The proposed budget was presented to the Erie County Legislature Monday morning.
Poloncarz stated in the proposed 2018 budget, the county will cut the Property Tax Rate by one cent and assume more than half of the community college's chargeback burden. That will allow the county to stay under the NYS Property Tax Cap at 1.84%, according to Poloncarz.
The proposed budget also includes $69.1 million in funding for capital projects and infrastructure work.
Here are some of the plans outlined in the 2018 proposed budget according to the Erie County Executive's office:
- More than $478,000 in new operational funding for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
- $250,000 in new operational assistance for SUNY Erie Community College (“ECC”);
- $500,000 in capital funding for the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center;
- Continued funding for county lead abatement and opioid epidemic initiatives;
- Modest 1.2% increase in funding for arts and cultural organizations, the sixth consecutive year with a proposed funding increase for these groups;
- Continued funding for the redevelopment of the Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna;
- Continued funding for summertime Operation Prime Time youth development programs;
- $175,000 in funding to assist in the creation of the new Explore & More Children’s Museum at Canalside.
- an appropriation of $500,000 for continuing anti-poverty initiatives in 2018.
“The 2018 Proposed Budget builds on our strengths, addresses areas in our community that need attention, and returns more money to taxpayers’ pockets. As any sensible and reasonable Budget should, this proposal prudently uses resources to address county needs while at the same time reducing the property tax rate and lessening the burden of community college chargebacks on communities countywide,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz in a released statement. “This Proposed Budget highlights Erie County’s growth and also underscores the challenges that the NYS tax cap and state-mandated costs, which constitute fully 90% of our Budget for 2018, still present. Additionally, it reflects my administration’s continuing commitment to combating poverty in our county, investing in our infrastructure, and providing the services that taxpayers demand and expect. ”
The state comptroller recently criticized Erie County for using so much of its rainy day fund to balance its budget, something Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw blasted following the proposal, "He's basically stealing from fund balance and ECMC to plug massive budget gaps, so this is artificial. This is the definition of smoke and mirrors, " said Mychajliw.
The budget still needs to be approved by the legislature.
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