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.
2024 TENTATIVE BUDGET
- 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
LOWER PROPERTY TAXES &
FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE PRACTICES
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.
INVESTING IN OUR RESIDENTS
Serving residents of all ages through a wide variety of programs