Rochester, N.Y.— On Tuesday night, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks released a $1 billion proposed budget for 2013. This is an increase from the $940 million budget passed for 2012.
The budget calls for the property tax rate to remain flat for the 9th year in a row. The rate will remain at 8.99 percent per of $1,000 assessed value.
Brooks also said there will be a reduction to the structural deficit. The 2014-2015 forecasts show a projected deficit reduction of about 10 percent from the previous forecast.
“To be able to reduce that 11 percent is a monumental task,” Brooks said. “It’s the cumulative impact of creating efficiencies of county government over time.”
The budget does not call for any cuts to services or public safety. However, 20 positions will be eliminated. Eighteen of those positions are already empty and the proposed budget would result in two layoffs.
Brooks added the admission tickets for the zoo will increase by $1 to bring in $250,000 in additional revenue for the county.
As of Tuesday night, Democrats in the legislature had very little time to go over the details of the budget.
“She gave a five minute speech for a billion dollar budget,” said Carrie Andrews, the assistant minority leader of the Democratic caucus. “The devil is in the details. We'll spend the next few weeks pouring over the details.”
During her presentation Brooks commented that she expects partisan attacks on her budget. Andrew views the process differently.
“It's not ‘partisan’ to criticize and propose amendments that our constituents may want,” Andrews said. “It's not ‘partisan’ to bring other ideas to this table that might actually be able to approve this budget.”
The Republican-majority legislature is expected to pass the budget with relatively few changes. Lawmakers will vote on the budget in mid-December.