MAHOPAC, N.Y. -- Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said it was a real challenge presenting a 2018 budget within the state-mandated tax cap on the tax levy.
Odell unveiled a $155 million budget that increases spending by $2.3 million from 2017, a 1.5 percent spending increase. The average taxpayer whose property is assessed at $277,000 will pay $984 in county taxes in 2018, an increase of $22.
The proposed budget includes a $1.3 million increase in employee and retiree health insurance costs; a $1.1 million increase in personnel costs; a $753,000 increase in early intervention/preschool education program and $350,000 increase in debt service costs. The budget also reflects a $2.4 million decrease in NYS Pension Expense due to amortization pay off, which resulted in an interest cost savings of $773,000 for the county. According to Odell, 70 percent of the budget consists of 200 mandated programs from the federal and state level.
“What this administration does not do is ‘kick the can down the road,’ we develop a plan,” Odell said. “Since Dec. 31, 2011, our administration, in partnership with the legislature, has implemented sound debt management practices which reduced County debt.”
Odell said she believes the budget will allow the county to maintain its Aa2 bond rating from Moody's.
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