Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today presented the Executive Budget for 2016, a document that once again shows that the county is moving forward to build on the strength of a growing economy in the county. For the second consecutive year the $610 million spending plan proposes NO tax increase, reflects the administration’s efforts to cut spending, work within the tax cap and maintain quality services. This is the third consecutive year that McCoy’s executive’s budget proposal has come in under the state-mandated tax cap, and the fourth year he has presented a balanced budget.
“This budget shows we’ve done the tough job of working within our means, in partnership with the county workforce, and that we can provide needed services without raising taxes,” said McCoy. “Just four years ago we faced a devastating tax increase and only through our work to stabilize our finances have we been able to reduce costs and stay within the tax cap.”
The County Executive noted that even though significant portions of the budget are costs mandated by the state, the administration has endeavored to stabilize county finances and has reduced the county’s subsidy for the Albany County Nursing Home by 50 percent. Earlier this year, McCoy announced that for the first time in six years the county avoided using a Tax Anticipation Note in the short term to finance county expenses. He said the administration’s sound fiscal planning and strong cash position ensured the county did not have to borrow to pay bills.
“We have budgeted conservatively while embarking on new initiatives and programs to provide opportunity and services for residents,” said McCoy.
The budget includes an additional $500,000 in funding for the Albany County Land Bank Corporation, which received a previous $1 million allocation from the county split between 2014 and 2015. That allocation helped the Land Bank leverage an additional $2.8 million in funding from the Attorney General. Earlier this year the county transferred 121 properties to the land bank.
McCoy said the county anticipates a decrease in the cost to administer the Assigned Counsel program as the result of the work of Assigned Counsel Administrator Larry Rosen who was appointed by County Executive McCoy to oversee the Assigned Counsel program. The costs are forecast to be about $1.15 million, a $100,000 decline over the last two years.
Compared to 2014, changes implemented by new management at the Albany County Nursing Home have resulted in continued savings which will total nearly $5 million in 2016 in large part from improved scheduling for union employees and agreements with employees previously implemented.
Albany County has received a $750,000 CDBG grant to help seniors who want to stay in their homes afford necessary repairs. Aligning with the grant period, the Executive Budget includes the first half of an additional $250,000 of County funding to bring the total to help seniors to $1million.
The Executive Budget also forecasts growth of 1.1 in sales tax revenues, which will provide an estimated $104 million to municipalities in the county.
“The hallmark of this administration has been working to avoid gimmicks or one-shots for the budget. Over the last three years, we’ve delivered on that promise to the people of the county while establishing a framework for the future,” said McCoy. “I look forward to working with the County Legislature to keeping the county moving forward.”
The 2016 Executive budget can be accessed by clicking on the following link: www.albanycounty.com/budget