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politics

$684M 2018 Rockland Budget Calls For 1.95 Percent Tax Increase

Legislator Jay Hood
Legislator Jay Hood Photo Credit: Rockland County Government

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Taxpayers can look forward to a 1.95 percent tax increase next year, lower than the state mandate, after the Rockland County Legislature voted 17-0 Tuesday to adopt the 2018 County Budget.

The $684.29 million 2018 budget calls for a 1.95 percent tax increase, which is lower than the state-mandated property tax cap. For the average Rockland residential property owner, taxes will increase about $2 monthly.

“A detailed review of the proposed budget is always a formidable task, but the hard work has paid off,” Legislator Jay Hood said. “The winners here are the taxpayers because they will see virtually no increase in their property tax but still benefit from the vital services county government provides daily.”

It is the first time in at least 15 years that a county budget has been adopted unanimously.

"I commend all the legislators for their efforts, and particularly wish to acknowledge Budget & Finance Chairman Jay Hood and Minority Leader Lon Hofstein," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

The adopted budget next goes to Day, who has line-item veto power. He can accept the entire amended budget, reject some or all of it, or take no action, which is the same as approving it.

Day said his only disappointment with the adopted budget was the unwillingness of the Legislature to set money aside to settle numerous expired labor contracts, some of which are subject to potential binding arbitration.

The County Executive said he had strategically allocated $4 million in the budget to prepare for contract settlements.

Day had hoped that the Legislature would earmark the same amount, possibly from the sale of the empty Sain Building.

The County Legislature has until Dec. 20 to override any vetoes or the amended version with the vetoes becomes the budget. It takes a two-thirds vote (12 votes) per veto item to override a veto.

"The unanimous approval of this budget is the result of both branches of government working together to benefit the people of Rockland County," Day said. "This is government working the way it is supposed to work. "

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