Onondaga County Proposes Budget Plan for 2022 Onondaga County Budget Plan

SKLAR: The proposed budget for Onondaga County in 20-22 is one-point-four-BILLION dollars. If approved by the county legislature, that would be a 150-million dollar jump from last year’s. Despite suggesting an increase in total spending, County Executive Ryan McMahon actually favors a decrease in property taxes.

MCMAHON: This budget proposes a tax rate of $4.93 per thousand. A decline of $0.06 per thousand.

SKLAR: The proposed budget for 20-22 also reserves one million dollars for a veteran’s assistance program. McMahon says the money would be used to help qualifying veterans with home repairs.

MCMAHON: This is just a small way to show our appreciation for their service and commitment to our community and our country!

SKLAR: For the fourth straight year, the county won’t use the general funds reserve to balance the budget.
I’m Stephen Sklar, N-C-C News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon proposed a budget for 2022 worth $1.4 billion dollars. Compared to last year’s budget, which took a hit due to the pandemic, this would be a $15 million dollar increase in spending.

“2021 has been a year that continues to test us, and our response and recovery from COVID-19,” McMahon said. “Our community, however, has continued to show its resilience and we started to recapture that momentum and progress we were seeing before the 100-year pandemic began.”

The plan outlines an updated property tax rate of $4.93 per $1,000 — a $0.06 per $1,000 decrease from last year. If the proposal is approved by the legislature, that would mark a 15% decrease in property taxes since 2011. The proposal also features an unchanged sewer fee of $452 per unit.

The county received an $89 million dollar grant from the American Rescue Plan, a federal program distributing financial aid across the country. That money plus the cooperation of the country residents over the last few years has put the county on a path towards “inclusive growth,” according to McMahon.

Some of the other things the county plans on putting the money towards are:

  • $35 million towards an 80,000 square foot aquarium in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Another $50 million in surplus funds from 2021 will be used as well.
  • $25 million in federal stimulus aid will be used to build a brand new sports complex at Hopkins Road Park in Salina. From the budget, $4 million over the next 2 years will be used towards building softball and football fields at Carrier Park in DeWitt.
  • $15 million in broadband infrastructure in unspecified parts of the county that aren’t well connected.
  • $5 million for the Main Street program which helps improve business districts; $1.25 million would go to Mattydale and another. $1.25 million would go to West Onondaga Street South Ave.
  • $1 million towards a program that would assist qualifying veterans with home repairs.

The aquarium would bring in around 500,000 visitors and $50 million in economic activity every single year, according to an independent market study. The aquarium is timeless and will be beloved by all, McMahon said.

The sports complex at Hopkins Road Park will feature 10 synthetic lacrosse and soccer fields fully equipped with lights and an indoor bubble complex. It is estimated that another 500,000 people will travel to these fields and that should generate millions of dollars in sales and hotel-room tax revenue. If approved, the complex will complement the growing industry of sports tourism, according to McMahon.

This is the fourth straight year that the county has not had to take money from the general fund reserve.

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