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Ontario County tightens up budget: Cuts spending by $17M to prevent major tax hike

Given the economic uncertainty of the moment – Ontario County has opted to move forward with a spending plan that is $17 million smaller than the one inked last year.

The Board of Supervisors met this week and unanimously approved a $223 million budget.

“With the outbreak of a global pandemic requiring much of the economy to cease for a period, the fiscal future remains uncertain,” Canandaigua City Supervisor David Baker said. “While businesses in Ontario County have begun operating again, many may be permanently lost as result of the hardships the closures made necessary for the health and safety of residents.”

The Finger Lakes Times reported that a big driver of the decline in sales tax revenue was the extended closure of East View Mall.
State aid also declined significantly.

In total, the plan means an approximate $6 increase in property taxes for a homeowner with assessed value of $198,000.

Heading into the budget process, Ontario County faced a shortfall of between $17 and $20 million. Avoiding that means saving on what would have been a significant increase in taxes to hold the spending line from the plan approved in 2019.