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Tompkins County 2020 Budget Adopted

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Tompkins County 2020 Budget Adopted

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Concluding a process that began more than two months ago, the Tompkins County Legislature tonight adopted the County’s 2020 Budget and the 2020-2024 Tompkins County Capital Program.  The budget was approved by unanimous vote.  There were no amendments to the Tentative Budget before adoption.

The $193.5 million budget, which includes $93.0 million in net local spending, increases the County tax levy by 2.75%. The tax rate of $6.31 per thousand is down by 10 cents (-1.70%) from 2019, representing an increase of $11.41 in the tax bill for the median-valued $190,000 county home.  The levy increase falls below the County’s tax cap of approximately 5.41%, as calculated by New York State.

Before the budget passage, Budget chair Michael Lane, Legislature Chair Martha Robertson, and several Legislators reflected positively on this year’s budget process and the many people who played a key role in its success.  Chair Lane, in part, praised his fellow Legislators for their strong participation throughout the process, “a great proposal” from County Administrator Jason Molino, tremendous work and guidance from Budget Coordinator Kevin McGuire, and he recognized Department Heads for their work.  Chair Robertson said that the County’s process “has evolved to be a very comprehensive, positive process,” and Legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne also lauded the Human Services Coalition for all it does in facilitating the budget review process for county agencies.  Legislators also recognized Budget chair Lane for his leadership throughout the process.

2020 Solid Waste Annual Fee:
In an action separate from, but related to, the 2020 Tompkins County Budget, Legislators also acted to formally establish the $60.00 unit charge included in the budget as the County’s 2020 Solid Waste Annual Fee, a $2.00 increase from the 2019 fee.  The action also codifies unit charges for types of properties other than single-family residences (considered one unit)—such as two-family and multi-unit residences, colleges and schools, and other types of properties.  Recycling and Materials Management Director Barbara Eckstrom said there will be work toward analyzing and updating formulas for types of properties such as the colleges in the year ahead.

An overview of the 2020 budget and other budget documents may be found at the County budget page at  The full 2020 Adopted Budget will be posted soon.