Wayne County’s administrator has crafted a 2024 budget that offers a notable tax cut for residents, but that doesn’t mean it’ll come without challenges.
The new $213.3 million budget, which is up by 6.4% from the previous year, proposes a tax levy of $42 million—$2 million less than in 2023, marking a 4.5% reduction. This adjustment would lower the tax rate to $5.56 per $1,000 assessed value, a decrease of 14.5%.
While the tax decrease is supported by strong sales tax collections, House told the Finger Lakes Times that that maintaining such reductions in subsequent years will be challenging due to escalating costs.
The 2025 fiscal year is expected to present tougher budgeting conditions with additional expenses anticipated for the county’s new ambulance service, hikes in collective bargaining agreements, and cost overruns in shoreline protection projects.
Moreover, House indicated potential sales tax revenue stabilization and increased state-imposed fiscal responsibilities as emerging concerns.
In the face of impending financial obstacles, the county’s proposed budget includes significant spending increments: a 9.4% increase in salaries aligned with new collective bargaining agreements, 20 new Emergency Medical Service (EMS) positions, and a 9.1% rise in fringe benefits costs.
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