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Legislature Adopts 2019 Financial Goal, Fiscal Guidelines for Departments and Agencies

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Legislature Adopts 2019 Financial Goal, Fiscal Guidelines for Departments and Agencies

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

In two resolutions approved tonight, the Tompkins County Legislature approved a 2019 tax levy goal and spending targets for 2019.  The tax levy resolution directs County Administrator Jason Molino to prepare a recommended operating and capital budget that can be supported with a tax levy increase of 2.2%, an increase that is beneath the County’s estimated 2019 tax cap of 2.87%.  Both the tax levy guideline and the spending targets for departments and County agencies to use in preparing their budgets were approved by unanimous votes.  (Legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne was excused.)

County Administrator Jason Molino expects that the 2.2% increase in the County’s property tax levy, which by policy includes a 0.5% increase dedicated to capital improvements identified in the County’s Capital program, will support a maintenance-of-effort budget for County departments, and address certain other critical needs and priorities.  As in the past, departments and agencies will have the ability to request funding in excess of their 2019 spending targets, allowing the Legislature to consider exceeding the Administrator’s Recommended Budget. Departments and agencies must submit their 2019 budget requests to the County Administrator by July 13.

The $1.08 million increase in the levy would represent an estimated increase of $13.00 for the owner of a median-valued $178,000 county home.  The approved fiscal targets hold targets steady for County departments and include a 2% increase in target for not-for-profit County agencies.