The statement above says it all. At the Onondaga County Legislature's budget session on Oct. 12, we passed a budget with a reduction in the county tax levy. What this means, in real dollars, for this area is as follows: for a $100,000 dollar home, under the Executive's proposal, would have resulted in about a $400 dollar increase in property taxes. Under the Legislature's proposal, the same $100,000 house would result in about $128 dollar increase. Furthermore, about $100 dollars of this increase is because the town of Lysander chose to take all of their sale tax revenues in cash this year, rather than applying it to the county credit as they have in the past. As they go through their budget process now, if the town chooses to use some of this money to apply to the town levy that would result in a rate reduction. The rest of the increase in property taxes is contributed to the states unfunded mandates that New York continues to pass on to the counties.
This Legislature reduced county spending by millions. We had to prioritize spending and some things had to be cut. I would like to commend Sheriff Walsh, and his staff for meeting with the legislature to work out a plan for Air One and to save deputies' positions. For Air One, the Sheriff will be required to set up a not-for-profit foundation, which will accept donations to the program. Additionally, the Sheriff will seek approval from the FAA to be able to charge for medical transport flights. If these things are accomplished by July 1, Air One will continue to operate. Sheriff Walsh will pursue these avenues over the next few months and report back to the Public Safety committee. Lastly, Sheriff Walsh was able to reach the legislature's goal of reductions, without laying-off deputies. I personally did not want to see road patrol officers positions reduced, but budget deficits were outrageous this year, and every option had to be explored.