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December 16, 2013

Oswego County Legislators Adopt 2014 Budget

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Legislature adopted its 2014 budget Dec. 12. The adopted budget totals $197,173,120. The amount of revenue to be raised by property taxes is $42,841,569, which is under the New York State tax cap. The budget also reduces reliance on savings and reserve funds by $1,463,287.

There will be a 0.4 percent increase in the Oswego County property tax levy. The generic tax rate is $7.22 per thousand dollars of assessed value, which translates to an increase of $11.34 for the average residential home in Oswego County. The Oswego County Legislature has held either the generic tax rate or the tax levy at a 0.0 percent change for the past nine years.

County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner (District 13, New Haven) said several factors affected the adopted budget late in the process. The Legislature approved a labor contract with the sheriff's deputies union and adjusted the District Attorney's budget to add a program with the goal of moving defendants through the criminal justice system more quickly. The deputies' contract results in no salary increase in 2012, a 2 percent increase for 2013, and a 2 percent increase for 2014. The actual tax rates paid by property owners may increase or decrease from 2013 as a result of changes in assessed value and equalization rates of local municipalities and local costs for workers' compensation and community college.

New York State mandates that local taxpayers pay one-third of the cost of tuition for residents who attend community colleges. In October, the SUNY Board of Trustees increased the tax by 85 percent for Cayuga Community College and by 19 percent for Jefferson Community College.

Although the 2014 county budget is under the New York State tax cap, the County Legislature approved a precautionary over-ride of the tax cap as a protective measure, because tax negotiations with the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba are ongoing and could change factors within the tax cap formula.


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