2024 Tentative Budget Brief

County Administrator’s Budget Message

To the Honorable Chairman Theodore Kusnierz, Jr., the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, and the residents of Saratoga County:

I am honored to present the Tentative 2024 County Budget for your review and consideration. Thanks to the leadership and vision of our elected officials, Saratoga County continues to be a statewide leader among all counties in many important metrics related to quality of life, fiscal responsibility, and the strong and vibrant growth of our population and economy.

I am pleased to report the County remains in excellent fiscal shape as we move forward into 2024. This is due to our well-established fiscally conservative approach that County leadership has maintained for decades, which forms the basis for the strong population and tax base growth we enjoy.

The two key metrics that have helped drive this growth will be in place again for 2024: the lowest county sales tax rate AND the lowest county property tax rate out of all 62 counties in New York. Our proposed 2024 budget provides for a significant 8% decrease in the property tax rate, once again without exceeding the state’s property tax cap. It also increases investments in our County workforce, public safety and health initiatives, and important infrastructure improvements including trails and open space.

We believe this property tax decrease is very positive news for our taxpayers as they cope with stubbornly high prices for basic needs like food and housing. The 2024 budget also maintains one of the lowest per capita spending rates out of all the counties across the state as we continuously strive for efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services to our 238,000 residents. I remain very proud of our entire County team who continue to do a great job delivering these services to our residents.

There are challenges ahead we must deal with. The biggest challenge continues to be new unfunded mandates that our state and federal governments impose on counties to provide additional services and programs, which will cost Saratoga County taxpayers an additional $6 million next year.

I’d like to once again thank Chairman Todd Kusnierz, Law & Finance Chairman Jon Schopf, and all of the Supervisors who were involved in this effort by providing their time, insights, and recommendations to the Budget Liaison Committee. I also want to thank all of our Department Heads and their teams for their assistance, candor, and feedback throughout this process.

Most importantly, I’d like to thank our Budget Director Stephanie Hodgson, Deputy Administrator Ridge Harris, and Director of Human Resources Scot Chamberlain for their hard work and thoughtful perspectives in helping put together our 2024 budget.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Bulger


  • Reduces the County’s Property Tax Rate by 8%, keeping it under the State tax cap
  • Provides homeowners with the lowest property tax rate in New York State at $1.95 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Makes significant investments for important programs and services to benefit our residents
  • Delivers a $411 million budget for 2024


Keeping more of your money in your pocket by having low taxes and remaining fiscally conservative with your tax dollars

The proposed $411 million budget reduces the property tax rate by 8%, keeping the levy within the state’s property tax cap and continuing to provide Saratoga County homeowners the lowest property tax rate in the State at $1.95 per $1,000
of assessed value.

The County makes a conservative sales tax revenue projection for 2024 of $165 million, amidst higher inflation and uncertainty in future consumer spending habits. This is $5 million less than the expected 2023 year-end revenue.

The County’s debt service remains less than 1% of the County’s operating budget. This low debt helps to maintain the County’s high AA+ rating from Standard & Poors (S&P), which will help the County weather any possible downturns in the nation’s uncertain fiscal environment.


Serving residents of all ages through a wide variety of programs

We are continuing to support youth through the Department of Aging and Youth Services’ Youth Development, Youth Sports, and Teams programs. The new Teams program provides funding to towns and team sports programs that support the health and well-being of children and youth. All programs provide opportunities to disadvantaged children countywide who may not otherwise have access to youth sports programs. ($352,612)

We will have a new Caregivers Conference administered by the Department of Aging and Youth Services dedicated to empowering family and professional caregivers with essential knowledge, resources, and practical tools to help them in their important roles of caregivers. ($9,240)

We will continue to offer Workforce Development training to provide residents and businesses with career and job seeker training opportunities with a special focus on developing a strong workforce for indemand skilled trades jobs. ($487,471)


Making smart investments in initiatives that benefit communities in all
corners of Saratoga County

We are continuing our longstanding commitment to preserving open space and providing outdoor recreational opportunities for residents through investments in our Farmland and Open Space Acquisition program and fish stocking program and by increasing funding for our Local Assistance to County Trails grant program. ($575,000)

We are making enhanced investments in economic development and tourism programs to maintain Saratoga County’s status as a cultural, entertainment, and
industry destination for travelers and businesses worldwide. (more than $1.3 million)

We are making enhanced investments in economic development and tourism programs to maintain Saratoga County’s status as a cultural, entertainment, and
industry destination for travelers and businesses worldwide. (more than $1.3 million)


Reaffirming our commitment to public safety and public health by supporting initiatives that affect communities countywide

We are making robust investments in public safety to build upon Saratoga County’s longstanding ranking as one of New York State’s safest communities and
support officials’ increased obligations stemming from changes in New York State public safety laws. These include personnel, technology, and equipment for the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Probation Department, Public Defender’s Department, and Conflict Defender’s Office. ($59,862,524)

We are making upgrades to Emergency Services communications to support our first responders and building a new Fire Training Tower to support our volunteer
firefighters and the important work they do to protect and assist families and businesses throughout Saratoga County. (more than $3 million)

Building upon our commitment to address the opioid epidemic through prevention, education, treatment, and response efforts, in 2024 we will use Opioid Settlement Funds to create more programs and provide services to connect families, veterans, and underserved populations with community-based treatment,
rehabilitation, recovery, and support services related to opioid and substance use disorders. ($155,937)