Sullivan adopts 2020 budget, approves salary hike

Posted 12/18/19

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature on December 12 unanimously passed the 2020 budget, which comes in at $1 million less that last years’ budget.

“Our division of …

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Sullivan adopts 2020 budget, approves salary hike

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MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature on December 12 unanimously passed the 2020 budget, which comes in at $1 million less that last years’ budget.

“Our division of management and budget, which has worked for months to develop a responsible and efficient budget, was able to significantly lower appropriations for 2020, bringing the total appropriations in the 2020 Budget to $233,270,953,” said county manager Josh Potosek.

The tax rate is expected to increase by 1.59 percent, which is well under the two percent Albany–mandated tax cap and, according to the county, represents an increase in property tax of about $19 per $100,000 of assessed value.

“As one of the last acts of my time on the legislature, I am proud to be a part of the team that delivered this budget to taxpayers—without cutting services, programs or personnel,” said legislator Scott Samuelson, chair of the legislature’s management and budget committee.

“This is a conscientious budget, taking into account the needs of both our staff and our taxpayers,” said legislature chairman Luis Alvarez. “I thank everyone who worked toward that goal.”

“This is a forward-looking budget, built upon the blessings of an improved economy rather than on the backs of taxpayers,” added legislature vice chair Nadia Rajsz.

“With many of our planning initiatives now bearing fruit, and more in the works, this budget smartly positions the county to welcome and manage further growth,” said legislator Alan Sorensen, the legislature’s majority leader.

“I’m very pleased to say this was a diligent, bipartisan effort,” said legislator Ira Steingart, the legislature’s minority leader.

“The budget reflects that Sullivan County is leading the state in economic and employment growth, allowing county government to take proactive approaches to longstanding challenges,” said legislator Catherine Owens.

“I’m glad to see it pass with unanimous support,” said legislator Mark McCarthy. “I thank my colleagues and our staff for all their efforts.”
“It’s important that we deliver the services taxpayers need and demand without overburdening them with huge tax hikes,” noted legislator Joe Perrello. “This budget hits that mark.”

“I think the good news in this budget reflects the good news countywide,” said legislator Terri Ward. “Our economy is humming – and just as importantly, it is not dependent on any one entity or industry. Taxpayers can and should benefit from that.”

Also on December 12, legislators voted to increase their pay beginning in the New Year. The resolution noted that the lawmakers last had a pay hike in 2012, when the pay for members was set at $22,600 and for the chairman it was and $31,600.
Beginning on January 1, the pay for members will be $27,600 and the pay for the chair will be $36,600. Starting in 2021, there will be automatic two percent increases.

The vote was unanimous among the members of the executive committee.

Ward, McCarthy, Owens and Samuelson will not be returning to the legislature in January, when the new make-up of the body will be seven Republicans and two Democrats. The legislators have not yet formally announced who the chair will be. The reorganizational meeting will be held on January 3.

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