Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has presented her first County Budget to the Monroe County Legislature, promising to keep the county’s property tax rate flat, at $8.99 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
“One year ago, I made a promise to the residents of Monroe County to work tirelessly for our families, and to increase transparency, control spending, and not increase the property tax rate,” Dinolfo stated. “I’m proud to announce that, in my first year, we have succeeded in meeting each of those goals, by establishing oversight and accountability in the 2017 county budget.”
Dinolfo said she used a combination of operational savings and increased non-tax revenues to close a $24.7 million gap in the $1.2 billion budget, which she said, overall, will increase by less than one percent over last year’s budget.
The county has also eliminated $3.4 million in costs, by dissolving three Local Development Corporations earlier this year, and Dinolfo said she has also implemented a “Truth in Budgeting” initiative.
The initiative includes adding the county’s grant budget as a part of the government’s operating budget, in an effort to increase transparency in county budget practices.
“Chief among my priorities in this first county budget is to establish the practice of Truth in Budgeting,” she stated. “Truth in Budgeting improves the budget by more clearly representing the actual spending practices of Monroe County. The 2017 Budget provides taxpayers with the ability to better understand where each and every dollar is spent.”
According to Dinolfo, the county will also experience no layoffs for the first time in 14 years, and increase cost savings by eliminating 2.5 full-time, vacant positions.
In addition, the budget will also hold daycare spending flat, at $4.2 million, which, Dinolfo said, based on percentages, is more than any county in the state spends on daycare subsidies.
As a result, Dinolfo said she has called on state officials to increase daycare funding in Monroe County.