Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus released his proposed $827 million operating budget for fiscal year 2022 on Tuesday, September 28th at the Orange County Association of Towns, Villages and Cities meeting at the Captain’s Table in Monroe.
The County Tax Rate will be $3.506, which is lower than it was both last year and in 2014, when Neuhaus took office.
“We have faced significant challenges and unknowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, but I have made it my priority to stabilize and strengthen finances, without sacrificing the many important services that County government provides to our residents,” Neuhaus said. “I am proud of the hard work of County employees during these unprecedented times, and that independent auditors and Moody’s have validated the financial decisions we have made. I look forward to working with the County Legislature to build upon those successes.”
The County’s finances have been stabilized during Neuhaus’ eight years in office, while at the same time settling union contracts have been settled, long closed bridges have been reopened, important highway safety improvements have been made, and tourism related initiatives have been dramatically expanded.
Additional highlights of the 2022 proposed budget include:
- The County will utilize $9.9 Million of the unassigned fund balance in 2022, compared to $13.8 Million in 2021. The County’s fund balance has more than doubled since Neuhaus took office, back to State recommended levels, and was $50.6 million in 2020.
- The County’s property Tax Rate has gone down 9.6 percent since 2014 and property values have increased 32.6 percent during that same time.
- Moody’s Investors Service, the financial services ratings company, noted that “County management’s ability to manage through the pandemic relatively healthy is a testament to their budget monitoring and controls.” Moody’s added that “liquidity for the County is strong and will remain stable if not grow due to conservative budgeting.”
- The County will budget $4.2 Million in 2022 for hotel occupancy tax, an increase of $1.1 Million from 2014. The County Executive has aggressively pursued initiatives focused on tourism and economic development.
- The County received $74,770,002 from the U.S. Treasury as part of the American Rescue Plan. Half of the funds have been deposited and the other half will be transferred in 2022. The County will utilize those funds to solidify long-term financial health and add to the workforce.
- There are 107 projects in the County’s 2022 Capital Plan, including a new, state-of-the-art Medical Examiner’s Office, body cameras for Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Probation officers, investments into Orange County Airport and the Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation, and innovative cybersecurity/IT projects.
“Over the last two years, County Executive Neuhaus has faced challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic and unfunded mandates,” said Katie Bonelli, Chairwoman of the Orange County Legislature. “The County Executive has still proposed a balanced budget that maintains essential services to residents and is fiscally responsible. We look forward to the Legislative review process and the adoption of the 2022 budget.”
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.