October 5, 2022
‘A Decade of Zeroes’
Picente’s 2023 Budget Proposal Again Carries No Increase to Property Tax Levy
County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. presented a 2023 proposed budget and capital plan to the Board of Legislators today that carried with it no increase to the property tax levy for the tenth consecutive year.
“A decade of zeroes is an unparalleled achievement in the history of this government,” Picente said. “I have always adhered to my fiscally-conservative principles when constructing these budgets. I don’t borrow more than we can afford. I don’t pass on undue tax burden to our residents. And I never mortgage our financial future for my own political gain. Together with the Board of Legislators, we have created a stable and sustainable government structure that has withstood tests and enabled significant investments.”
The $493 million proposal is a balanced operational budget that appropriates $131 million in sales tax revenue, $23.85 million in Oneida Indian Nation revenue and retires $19 million in debt. The capital budget totals $17 million.
The 2023 budget invests in community assets and agencies that strengthen Oneida County and the region, such as:
- $2 million for mental health and suicide prevention for veterans
- $1.1 million for the Oneida County Opioid Task Force
- $885,000 for Cornell Cooperative Extension
- $800,000 for local libraries
- $400,000 for Mohawk Valley EDGE
- $300,000 for the Utica Zoo
- $200,000 for local humane societies
The county’s American Rescue Plan Act funding is not included in the 2023 operating budget, but some of it is reflected in two capital projects including $5 million for broadband expansion and $5 million for the county’s Main Street revitalization program.
In his budget address, Picente talked about the challenges county government has faced in hiring and retaining its workforce. In order to be more competitive, he said the county raised the pay of its employees in an unprecedented manner by adjusting its white and blue collar contracts midterm. The pay of county correction officers was also put on par with the state through the settlement of its union contract.
“The inability to hire employees to perform the essential functions of government has pushed us to a crisis point,” Picente said. “We have restructured this government, focusing on what positions are essential and at what cost. We will continue to find more innovative ways to address our workforce challenges.”
The budget proposal calls for no new positions to be added in 2023.
The Board of Legislators will vote on the County Executive’s 2023 budget proposal at its meeting on Nov. 9, 2022.
Full 2023 Budget Proposal Report: https://ocgov.net/sites/default/files/exec/2022/2023%20Proposed%20Budget%20-%2010.4.2022.pdf
Full 2023 Budget Address: https://ocgov.net/sites/default/files/exec/2022/2023%20Budget%20Address%20FINAL-FINAL.pdf
Video of today’s budget presentation: https://fb.watch/fZmnzy6Vx_/