UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente presented his 2024 Budget Proposal to the Board of Legislators on Thursday, October 5.
The proposed budget for 2024 stands at $529 million, an increase of $36 million — or approximately 7 percent — from 2023. The budget carries no property tax increase for Oneida County residents for the 11th consecutive year.
“Eleven zeroes in a row. Unparalleled in county history,” Picente said in his address to the Board of Legislators. “We have created a government that is responsive to our residents, our businesses and all of those who utilize our services, and we have done it without raising property taxes in 11 years. A zero today is a continued commitment to my common sense, pragmatic, fiscally conservative philosophy.”
Also unchanged from last year are the proportions of costs. 90% of the county’s budget are mandated costs from New York State, while 10 percent will be considered discretionary spending by the county. In his address to the Board of Legislators, Picente talked about the state mandates and the impact that they had on his proposal.
“Governor Hochul and her administration, as well as her allies in the State Legislature, continue to foist more and more responsibilities and costs onto counties to accommodate their out-of-touch policies with no regard for reality or common sense, leaving us to clean up their mess,” Picente said in his address. “If Albany would spend less time talking at us and more time listening to us, they may learn something about governing. It’s a simple formula to follow. We don’t borrow more than we can afford. We don’t pass on undue tax burden to our residents. And we never mortgage our financial future. We strategically invest in our economic growth while tackling tough societal issues.”
The budget will appropriate:
- $142 million in sales tax revenue, an increase of $11 million from last year,
- $23 million in revenue from the Oneida Indian Nation and
- will retire $19 million in debt.
According to Picente, the budget will also invest in agriculture, public health, tourism and technology. This will include:
- $6.5 million to expand Cornell Cooperative Extension’s facility,
- $2 million to continue operations at the REA Wing at Union Station in Utica,
- $2 million to bring the Utica Health Clinic to the Oneida County Office Building, and
- $1 million for technology upgrades for Oneida County government.
“I’m proud of this budget,” Picente said in his address. “I’m proud of the work we have done together, and I look forward to implementing this blueprint in 2024. My commitment to this community and doing this job is unwavering… The budget proposed today is the best plan forward for this county based on a record rooted in integrity, compassion and competence, keeping all our people’s best interests at heart. Let’s continue to move forward together.”
The Board of Legislators will vote on the Budget Proposal at its meeting on Wednesday, November 8.