CHEMUNG COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) — David Manchester, Chairman of the Chemung County Legislature, is excited to announce the amendments recommended to the proposed 2022 operating budget and capital plan, following the Legislative Budget Committee’s review.

The amendment to the budget will provide a 7.0% full value tax cut to County residents, slightly greater than the 6.4% proposed by the County Executive.

Along with the tax cuts, there is a 4% salary increase for almost all elected and appointed officials while using ARP funds to both study salaries for any future amendments, and to assist the Legislature in its process of redistricting following the 2020 census.

The amendments will be presented to the Legislature for a vote on December 6, 2021.

“The County Executive’s proposed budget did some excellent things,” Manchester said, “and I believe the amendments recommended by the Budget Committee signal to our hard-working residents that now is the time to right-size the property tax rate and make some significant long-term investments in our community”

In 2021 the County received over $8M in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, which need to be used appropriately before the County receives its next $8M payment. The amendments to the budget signal agreement with the County Executive’s plan to these ARP funds to push initiatives that will provide relief to the “Orange-Zone” businesses and farmers who were hard-hit by COVID shutdowns.

The amendments also use some of the ARP funds to pay for needed infrastructure upgrades to County facilities and to fund a study outlining options to address the financial losses being incurred by the Chemung County Nursing Facility (projected at $5M per year).

“The nursing facility’s operations have been devastated by COVID, so our number one priority should be figuring out how to find a community solution for this facility”, says Manchester.

With respect to employment opportunities, entrepreneurs throughout Chemung County currently need to travel out of town to obtain resources and training.

“The proposed amended budget allocates $100,000 from our ARP funds on hand to help establish an “incubator’ facility in our community – hopefully in Elmira through a partnership with the County, City of Elmira, and Incubator Works – to serve as a location where entrepreneurs can receive the assistance they need to grow sustainable businesses right here in Chemung County”, according to Manchester.

“I am very excited for all of the initiatives contained in the County Executive’s 2022 proposed budget and amendments recommended by the Budget Committee. I firmly believe this budget package puts Chemung County on solid footing for years to come”, states Manchester.