Outgoing Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef’s 2014 budget proposal would increase property taxes by 9.9 percent, The Journal News/lohud.com reports. That would mean an average property-tax hike of about $101, bringing the average bill to roughly $1,070.
That assumes, however, that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs state legislation that would permit Rockland to borrow $96 million to help the county plug most of its $128 million budget deficit. The Legislature has not yet sent the home-rule bill to the governor for his consideration.
If Rockland can’t borrow that money, it is legally obligated to set aside $10 million in the budget to start repaying the deficit — a move that could bring an overall 2014 property-tax increase of as much as 20 percent.
County Legislator Michael Grant said the Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee, which he chairs, plans budget reviews to get detailed answers, including ensuring that Vanderhoef’s proposed revenue streams “make sense.”
“Then we can see if the programs and services can fit into that revenue stream,” he said.
Grant said he also had concerns about whether the county is legally obligated to set aside $10 million for deficit-reduction purposes even if the $96 million can be borrowed.
Vanderhoef’s $760.9 million budget proposal does not call for layoffs, the outsourcing of jobs or program cuts. He is leaving office at the end of the year.