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Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks again touted property tax stability as she presented her proposed 2014 county budget this evening. However, there will be layoffs and management pay freezes to balance the budget.
"We've been able to maintain a commitment by internalizing, quite honestly, the pain so our taxpayers don't feel that in the community, so we're not cutting programs, we're not doing less for veterans or for seniors or for children and families," said Brooks.
There's a projected $45 million deficit for next year.
Brooks' proposal calls for 15 layoffs among county employees. Management and professional employees with Monroe County would not receive any merit-based or cost of living increases next year.
The county will also switch to a self-insurance health benefit payment model.
"We've tried to feel the pain in county government so the county taxpayers don't have to bear the burden more with less," said Brooks.
Brooks said as in her previous budgets, there will be no property tax increase and her proposal cuts spending by $3.8 million compared to last year.
But the Democrats are asking, at what cost will that come with?
"It is very early obviously. The devil is in the details we say that each year when we get the County Executive's budget. As you recall last year, it wasn't until we started doing questioning and really pulling through the docket that we found that she hadn't disclosed the creation of a new $5 million tax that we called the snow tax that was levied on all suburban taxpayers. At this point in time, it's actually too early to say what's actually in the budget," said Legislator Carrie Andrews, D-Minority Leader.