ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On October 5t, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente presented the 2023 proposed budget and capital plan to the board of legislatures. The proposed budget will have no increase to the property tax levy for the 10th consecutive year.

“Ten years of zero ten years of holding the line ten years of protecting the taxpayers,” said Picente.

The county executive explains that this $493 million budget proposal has various streams of revenue.

“We budgeted sales tax at about 131 million that has been kind of consistent with what we’ve been seeing in the past 18 months in terms of the growth factor. I mentioned the Oneida Nation revenue for another increase in budgeting and remember this budget always contains a number of reimbursements on the state and federal level,” said Picente.

The proposed budget will invest in the community, with $2 million for mental health and suicide prevention for veterans, 1.1 million for the Oneida County Opioid Task Force, 885,000 will go to the Cornell Cooperative Extension, 800,000 for local libraries, 400,000 for Mohawk Valley Edge, 300,000 for the Utica Zoo and 200,000 for local humane societies.

The county’s capital budget will total $17 million dollars, and while American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding is not included in the operating budget it will be reflected in the capital projects. Picente also noted that he had never seen the vacancy rate this high, with the county at almost 400 vacancies.

“Those range through every department the bigger ones obviously are in the jail in social services in our case worker series and some of our examiner series as well,” said County Executive Picente.

The 2023 budget calls for no new positions to be added in 2023, and they have unfunded 130 positions. 

“Are they needed are there different titles that are needed are there different titles that can support that and then ultimately will restore some of them as they currently are or in a different job title or we’ll completely eliminate them,” said Picente.

While the county has already raised the pay of its employees to attract and retain its workforce, Picente says they cannot do this every year.

The Board of Legislators will vote on the proposed budget at its meeting on Nov. 9, 2022