10:03 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Public to weigh in on Niagara County budget

Niagara County residents have a chance tonight to sound off on the proposed county budget for next year.

The budget proposed by County Manager Jeff Glatz calls for a slight cut in the property tax, created by drawing money out of reserves. The budget projects an increase in sales tax revenues, most of which goes to towns and cities across the county. 

The budget also expects increases in overall spending, most of that caused by rising health insurance costs for county employees, and millions in more spending on Safety Net, the state program for people who have used up their federal welfare benefits.

Glatz says the county has shrunk by getting rid of some operations.

"There's just a number of things that have impacted what we're able to do. The ability to sell Mount View nursing home facility, that helps the tax rolls. We were able to sell the home health agency. That was able to help in reducing staffing," Glatz says.

The budget hearing is at 6 p.m. in in the Legislature chamber, followed by a legislative meeting. Legislators expect to approve a final budget in two weeks.