Cortland County’s Final Budget Takes Turn for the Better

Despite similar populations, Cortland County is spending $44 million more than Chenango County. This is a sign of a budget that has gotten away from taxpayers.

However, with the newly approved 2018 budget, we could be seeing the beginning of the end for Cortland’s tax and spend cycle that has driven the county’s budget to costly heights.

After an announcement in June of a projected a budget deficit over eight-percent and a tax increase, Cortland County Department heads and legislators were able to bring these figures down dramatically.

The final budget which passed on Thursday night saw a 0.2 percent increase in spending and a 1.5 percent tax levy increase. County legislators got the increase down further from a 1.84 percent rate hike in the executive’s final proposal. Due to increased property values, the tax rate is increasing by 0.38 percent.

There were several amendments in the final budget including funding for social service programs but they were offset by using funding left over from last year, so an additional tax hike was avoided.

The increases are slowing down, and citizens aren’t done working for more.

Overall there exists a spirit amongst several legislators and many citizens to keep fighting to break this tax and spend cycle. In fact, six legislators voted against the budget — most of whom were on the record saying their opposition was due to the fact that there was any tax increase at all.

Next up in Cortland is an expensive proposal to build a new County Jail.

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