Madison County’s 2023 tentative budget shows reduction in property taxes
WAMPSVILLE — The Madison County Board of Supervisors held its first day of Annual Session on Thursday, where the 2023 tentative budget was presented.
The tentative budget includes a $141.1 million spending plan — an increase of 9.4% compared to the 2022 adopted budget. The 2023 tentative budget includes a $43.09 million tax levy — an increase of 3.4%. If adopted, the average tax rate on full value will decrease by approximately 61 cents per $1,000 per taxable value.
This means on average, for a property valued at $100,000, county taxes would go down by $61 in 2023.
"Although the tax levy is rising, the tax rate on full value is decreasing because of a significant increase of nearly $494 million in full value," Madison County Treasurer Cindy Edick said at Thursday's meeting.
Madison County has felt the impacts of inflation and a staggering economy just like everyone else in the nation, and the tentative budget reflects that.
"As anyone can tell by a trip to the grocery store or gas station, the cost of everything has increased considerably," Edick said. "As a result, Madison County can expect to pay more next year for service contracts, equipment, supplies, and fuel. The county can also anticipate the need to adjust wage schedules, in addition to other non-monetary measures, in order to recruit and retain the employees needed to provide services."
However, the budget does reflect a 13.1% increase in revenue other than property taxes. Madison County saw its sales tax increase by 6.6% compared to 2022. The tentative budget includes a $2 million increase in sales tax revenue, though that is still $3 million less than what the county will likely receive through the end of 2022.
Madison County also recently added a real property transfer tax, which is expected to generate at least $800,000 in 2023.
The 2023 tentative budget includes the use of $4.49 million from the fund balance, which is the same as the 2022 adopted budget.
The county's levy limit for 2023 is $1.43 million, or 3.4%. This is just $8,498 more than the amount contained in the 2023 budget.
And since New York state may withhold aid for "Raise the Age" expenses if the county exceeds the cap, Madison County would need to add $101,688 to the budget for those expenses to the Department of Social Services.
It is not known if the county will get money from the Oneida Indian Nation, since the host community benefit for Madison County is not a given. If received this year, $964,800 in projects have been set aside to be funded by this host benefit money. The amount received last year was $792,012.
"While the county's finances are currently stable and positive, the pandemic has shown how quickly that could change," Edick said in her budget message. "Just a couple of years ago, we evaluated the devastating effects that the threatened 20% decrease in state aid would have on our financials. We also endured volatile sales tax distributions during restaurant and other business closures and slowdowns."
Edick continued, saying there was a valid concern about the delay or withholding of aid to Madison County if New York State's financial position deteriorates.
And with $25.16 million in state aid revenue in the 2023 budget, this could prove to be a problem.
"The county's financials are presently sound," Edick said. "But it wouldn't be my budget message without a few words of caution."
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