Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney presents her proposed budget for 2013. The total comes in at $1.2 billion and it does not call for an increase in county property tax rates. But, as our Candace Hopkins reports, that doesn't mean your tax bill will stay the same.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- "The property tax levy has been lowered significantly in the last few years, and the 2013 executive budget proposal maintains the levy at $148 million," said Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive.
Friday afternoon, Mahoney unveiled her 2013 budget proposal, keeping the tax levy steady, but that isn't automatically good news for homeowners.
"There's no more property tax dollars being asked from the community at large,
but within the towns depending on how property sales taxes are being used, people will see differences in their own tax property bills," said Mahoney.
In 19 communities those bills would be higher. Mahoney says the county is holding its tax rate steady in the year ahead, but the 19 town governments who have seen their share of sales tax money shrink under a new formula agreed to two years ago, say their tax rates will actually rise to meet their costs.
So while the overall number may be the same, opponents of the budget say unless cuts are made, some constituents will end up paying more.
"This is a history that the County Executive has in proposing double digit property tax increases, and it's the county legislature's roll at the end of the day to pass a responsible budget, and we will, and we'll do that by reducing the tax increase that she's proposed", said 10th District Legislator Kevin Holmquist.
Mahoney also announced a plan to privatize the Van Duyn nursing home.
"We have signed a letter of intent with Upstate Services Group and we anticipate the transition to take place on December 1, 2013", said Mahoney.
It's a plan that drew immediate criticism from the union that represents many of the facility's employees.
In a statement the Civil Service Employees Association said, "As a county-run nursing home, Van Duyn has always served as a facility of last resort our community’s seniors could depend on to receive care, regardless of their ability to pay. If the facility goes private, our concern is that profits, not people, will come first."
County Legislators now have the chance to review the budget, and will begin work on their proposed changes. Mahoney also included funding for the local arts, and creation of a veterans outreach center.