Rockland County legislators voted 10-1 to amend and approve a 2023 County Budget that has no property tax increases, no program cuts and no layoffs.
“I am grateful that by working together, all sides were able to come to agreement on a budget that will continue vital county services and maintain our county workforce – all without raising county property taxes a single cent,” County Budget & Finance Chairman Legislator Aron Wieder said.
The $812.4 million amended adopted 2023 budget includes $130.77 million in property taxes, which represents a zero percent tax levy increase over the 2022 budget. County property taxes also were not raised in 2022. County Budget & Finance Vice Chairman Legislator Michael Grant said, “It took years of effort to finally get us to where we are today – deeply in the black with a strong surplus and eliminating taxes that we once desperately clung to during the financial crisis. I am so grateful to see us standing on f rm ground instead of shifting sands, and I am sure, through continued careful management of the budget, Rockland County will continue to strengthen its fi scal vitality.”
County Legislature Minority Leader Lon Hofstein said, “I am happy that both the Minority and the Majority members of the County Legislature were able to work together with the County Executive’s Administration in ironing out a very stable, realistic budget for 2023. The people of Rockland County count on us to deliver, and that’s what this budget does.”
County Executive Ed Day plans to immediately review the 2023 Amended Budget and stated, “I am so appreciative of the effort put forth by the Legislature in reviewing my Proposed Budget. These collective ideas are a victory for all Rockland residents and provide a clear path onward. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the County Legislature in 2023 and beyond for the benefit of the people of Rockland.” While there will be no increase in the county property tax, taxpayers are in effect also realizing the equivalent of a tax cut of at least 9.54 percent after the county’s Motor Vehicle Tax and Residential Energy Sates Tax were both eliminated in time for the new budget year – neither will be collected in 2023.
The budget also reflects a reduction of the county’s portion of sales tax on motor fuel purchases, capping the tax charged to the fi rst $2 of a gasoline purchase, resulting in a roughly $5 savings for a typical fill-up. It is in effect through February of 2023. Also supported by both the County Executive and the Legislature, the county is also opting into the state’s new law that increases the income eligibility for seniors seeking a reduction in property taxes from $29,000 to $50,000 for people 65 and older.
County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. said, “We are hopeful that these collective efforts to reduce the tax burden will add up to meaningful savings for residents during these challenging economic times. I thank everyone who participated in the review process to make the final version of the budget the best it could be.”
County Budget & Finance 2nd Vice Chairman Alden H. Wolfe said, “During the height of the national financial crisis, which so severely impacted Rockland County, we made a commitment to the taxpayers that we would right the fiscal ship and rebuild our financial strength. I am grateful that after so many years of difficult choices and hard work, we have fulfilled that commitment. I am so appreciative of everyone who worked together to craft a spending plan that preserves all the vital services our residents and businesses rely on while cutting taxes.”
The County Executive has five working days after receipt of the amended adopted version to issue any vetoes. He has line-item veto power. The Legislature has until Dec. 20 to override any vetoes. It takes a two-thirds vote per veto item to override a veto (Two-thirds is 12 votes).