2007 Tompkins County Budget Adopted
By a vote of 10 to 5, the Tompkins County Legislature ended nearly three months of study and debate and adopted the 2007 Tompkins County budget. Voting against the budget were Legislators Mike Sigler, Greg Stevenson, Dick Booth, Mike Hattery and Tyke Randall.
Legislators approved two amendments to the budget – one restoring $8,000 in permanent funding for the Finance Department (approved by a vote of 9- 6), another making a technical change taking nearly $16,000 in funds to support Occupational Safety and Health program from the fund balance, instead of the Workers Compensation line (approved unanimously). None of the changes produced significant impact on the final tax rate and tax levy.
The budget increases the tax rate by 2.6 percent and the total tax levy (the total amount of property tax collected) by 5.1 percent, nearly identical to rates contained in the tentative budget.
Two proposed amendments failed before the budget was adopted. A proposal from Legislator Michael Koplinka-Loehr to restore as permanent funding more than $36,000 to increase staff hours at Offender Aid and Restoration failed by a 4-7 vote. A proposed amendment from Legislator Michael Hattery would have eliminated funding for a Senior Planner’s position; reduced a paralegal position in the Human Rights Division to half- time; cut Youth Services funding by more than $70,000 and contingent funding for jail board-outs and highway funding each by $75,000. That proposal failed by a 5-10 vote.
As the most significant change to the budget, Legislators unanimously approved transferring $475,000 from the fund balance to the contingency fund to increase 2007 funding for the Health Department’s Early Intervention Program for children with special needs because of an unanticipated increase in tuition fees to outside providers, as billed by the state. Health and Human Services Committee chair Frank Proto and Public Health Director Alice Cole warned the legislature that the state is expected to recalculate fees going back as far as 2003, mandates which, if allowed to stand, could produce as much as a $1.2 million shortfall in the 2006 budget, as well as increased expense in 2007. A top-level working group will convene within days to develop a plan of action to address the situation and advocate for the county’s interests.
Comparison of 2006 and 2007 adopted Tompkins County budgets:
Local Share (spending on local programs; revenue raised from the local community, primarily through property and sales tax):
Property Tax Levy (total amount to be collected from owners of taxable property):
2007: $34,795,186 (Percent change: +5.11) -
Property Tax Rate (amount per $1,000 of assessed property value):
2007: $6.76 (Percent change: +2.6)
County Property Tax change for home assessed at $100,000: $17.01
Among other actions, Legislators
Contact: Tim Joseph, Chair of the Legislature, 277-2519