Community college chargebacks not included in the budget as a revenue source
NEW CITY, NY – County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef today submitted a $760.9 million proposed budget that includes a property tax increase tax of 9.9 percent, with no additional increases in any taxes or fees.
“The 2014 Proposed Budget maintains all of our existing services for our residents,” said Vanderhoef. “I am pleased that this budget does not contain any program cuts, layoffs or outsourcing of services except in the area of Mental Health. As part of our continuing efforts to cut costs, I have recommended a net decrease of approximately 40 vacant positions.”
The property tax increase translates to about $101 more per year for the average homeowner. Rockland County’s tax rate still remains among one of the lowest of all New York State counties.
Vanderhoef noted that the 2014 Proposed Budget is based upon the presumption that Governor Andrew Cuomo will approve the Rockland County Deficit Financing Act, which would allow the county to issue bonds to pay down its deficit.
“We have received no indication that Governor Cuomo will disapprove the Rockland County Deficit Financing Act. The Act has passed both houses of the State Legislature and has the full backing of Rockland’s State representatives and bi-partisan support on the local level,” said Vanderhoef.
Should the Governor veto the legislation before the budget must be adopted, the county would be required by local law to set aside an additional $10 million to reduce the county’s deficit. County officials note that this would require additional and sizeable cost reductions or a further increase in the real property tax or both.
The Proposed Budget projects minor increases above the 2013 levels for all other major revenue categories. The Rockland County Nursing Care Center remains funded throughout 2014, despite the fact the county has created a Local Development Corporation (LDC), which has already issued a Request For Proposals to sell or lease the nursing home. This sale would help eliminate any remaining County deficit in 2014. In addition, budget provides for Mental Health emergency services and psychiatric
inpatient services through June, as these services are expected to relocate to Nyack Hospital in the second quarter of 2014.
The 2014 Proposed County of Rockland Budget can be viewed on the county website at http://rocklandgov.com.