Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks delivered her final $1.2 billion budget to the Monroe County Legislature Nov. 9.
According to the county, Brooks’ 2016 budget holds the property tax rate flat for the twelfth straight year, cuts overall spending by $5 million, reduces the county’s structural deficit, and ensures county taxpayers will receive a tax rebate check.
In addition, the county said it closed a $22 million budget gap, in part, by selling tax liens, and an expected growth in the county’s real estate valuations.
“When I took office in 2004, I promised this community that I would not raise the property tax rate,” Brooks stated. “Some pundits, and opponents, said it couldn’t be done, but I couldn’t be more proud to stand here tonight presenting my twelfth and final budget that honors the promise I made 12 years ago. Closing a $22 million gap was no easy task, and we certainly made some difficult choices, but, thanks to our commitment to a smaller, smarter, and more efficient county government, the 2016 budget again protects the only special interest group that matters: the local taxpayer.”
According to Brooks, the county will continue to meet its state-mandated minimum for contributions to daycare subsidies, which was $4.2 million in 2015, although the subsidies were cut by over $1 million last year. However, Brooks said Monroe County still spends 400 percent more on daycare than any other county in the state.
“A lot of people can’t work unless they have a place to have their children cared for during the day,” she stated. “And so, we maintain our commitment to child care.”
In addition, Brooks, who is in her last term as county executive, said she is happy to leave the office in good condition.
“I promised to leave county government in better shape than I found it,” she stated.
Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo will replace Brooks following the end of her term this year.
Additionally, county legislators will begin to review the county’s budget next week, in order to vote on the budget in December.