Yates looks at ’24 budget numbers

Nov 03, 2023 at 03:06 pm by Observer-Review

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BY Nonie Flynn, Former Yates County Budget Officer and County Administrator
YATES COUNTY--The proposed 2024 Yates County budget meets the guideline issued by the Yates County Legislature to stay within the property tax cap under the allowable amount of $16,719,993. The result is a property tax levy of $15,925,566, which is the same as it was in 2023. Because of the flat tax levy and a 12.89 percent increase in the full value of taxable property in the county, the proposed 2024 property tax rate will decrease to $4.39 per thousand. The taxable valuation may change due to corrections prior to the budget adoption.
Overall, the proposed revenues for 2024 are budgeted to be 19.59 percent more than those adopted in 2023. The increase moved from $33,985,679 to $40,644,661.
The largest dollar changes to revenue include $2,521,541 from state aid, $2,000,000 from non-property taxes and $1,567,675 attributed to federal aid.
State Aid (24.93 percent of total revenues)–There is an increase of $60,000 in the District Attorney’s Attorney for Plaintiff revenue due to Gov. Hochul’s initiative to improve the criminal justice system in New York state. Assigned counsel’s budget for grant revenue increased significantly. However, the revenue is tied to the corresponding expenditures with the Hurrell Harring Grant. A new revenue line has been created for Medicaid reimbursements for the new Yates County Ambulance Service. They are projecting $1.2 million in reimbursement. The mortgage tax revenue is budgeted to remain flat from 2023. Elections have an increase in state aid due to the upcoming 2024 presidential election. Highway has an increase in state aid due to increased revenues from the state CHIPS program for bridge rehab. Other state aid increases that are found in the education for handicap children, sheriff, court security, public health, community services, JD care and safety net. All these increases are attached to corresponding expenditures. Decreases can be seen in social services for the following areas; social service admin (includes code blue and RSP), daycare and childcare.
Non-property taxes (54.48 percent of total revenues) – The main increase here is attributable to the sales tax revenue budgeted with an increase from $19 million in 2023 to $21 million in 2024. Occupancy tax revenue has a flat budget of $900,000. This is based on the completion of the back tax collection project and moving forward with collection from the additional properties that were identified since purchasing the Granicus software. Revenue from the automobile tax remains flat as well to match historical actuals post-pandemic norms.
Federal Aid (11.21 percent of total revenues) – The increases can be found in the Social Services Department for increases in aid for SNAP administration, flexible fund administration fees (FFFS) and child care. Decreases are for family assistance and services for recipients. These reimbursements are all tied to the corresponding expenditures. Increases can be found in the Public Safety revenue for reimbursement for bullet-proof vests. The Highway has increases from the federal DOT revenue. Decreases in public health’s revenue as Covid aid will expire at the end of this year for many of its programs that were implemented since 2020. Furthermore, there have been increases in lead revenue and disaster planning.
The proposed expenditures for 2024 are budgeted at 6.51 percent more than those adopted in 2023. The largest dollar increases are shown in the General Government ($1,460,443 - 29.85 percent), Economic Assistance ($1,397,108 - 19.30 percent) and Employee Benefits ($792,033 - 38.49 percent) line items. Public safety is the largest total expense at $10,150,548 or 25.48 of total expenditures.
New York state mandates – The State of New York directs Yates County to fund several programs, including Medicaid, retirement, community college, social services programs, education of handicapped children, Probation, indigent defense, Workers’ Compensation, and early intervention. Together these mandated net expenses account for 79.85 percent of the tax levy, totaling $12,660,498. The county’s contribution to the state’s Medicaid program continues to be the county’s largest single expense and represents 36 percent of all mandates and 29 percent of the tax levy.
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