Tax rate up slightly in proposed Jefferson County spending plan

WWNY Tax rate up slightly in proposed Jefferson County spending plan

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The proposed Jefferson County budget is out and, in a time where money is tight, property taxes will barely go up.

County administrator Robert Hagemann’s proposed spending plan is nearly $253 million. That’s down $6.6 million from this year’s budget.

The proposed property tax increase is under 1 percent, which means a homeowner with a home assessed at $100,000 dollars would pay $6 more in property taxes in 2021 under this spending plan.

The proposed budget will go to the county Legislature, where lawmakers can make changes and ultimately approve a spending plan.

The new budget would take effect on January 1.

The budget lays off no one, but county management employees will get no pay raise, and the CSEA, the county’s largest union, takes a one year pay freeze.

The county continues road and bridge projects already scheduled, but doesn’t add any new ones.

The budget assumes New York state will give the county between $4 and $5 million less in 2021, the result of the COVID crisis.

“It’s not sustainable forever. In the short term it’s very doable,” said Robert Hagemann, the county administrator.

“We’re doing what we have to do make ends meet and continue to provide services that the state of New York requires counties to provide.”

Hagemann thanked the CSEA and county department heads for their work on the budget.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.