STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) — Steuben County has released a proposed draft for the 2023 county budget, highlighting a 5.5% drop in the property tax rates and an increased tax levy of 1.5%.

The county has noted that the operating expenses are expected to rise in 2023, but county taxpayers will see a drop in their average property tax rate of more than 5.5% or 43 cents per $1,000.

During a special session held Tuesday, Nov. 15, County Manager and Budget Officer Jack Wheeler announced that if adopted on Nov. 28, the budget of $227.1 million will carry a tax levy of $52.3 million, up 1.5 percent compared to last year’s spending plan and well under the state cap.

Wheeler said that due to a solid fund balance, careful financial management, and cost-saving measures by department heads means Steuben is well-situated to absorb unexpected financial stresses without burdening property owners.

Officials say this budget will be able to provide local services such as roads and bridges, public safety, and allow the county to attract and retain employees.

When it comes to county employees, officials say they are lucky to be able to match market rates, as county workers will receive an 8% increase in total salaries and wages.

In addition, the county workers will receive a 17% increase in retirement benefits, but face a 5% increase in health insurance, largely due to high-cost claims and specialty drugs the announcement says.

The county announced a 10% increase in Public Safety, with funding being raised a total of 35% since 2019.

The draft notes that the increases to the budget are offset by a $2 million boost in sales tax revenue, the tax levy, and the county fund balance.

In other areas of interest to county residents, Steuben’s share of federal and state Opioid Settlement Funds also will support county and local agencies working to help those affected by substance abuse disorder while $500,000 has been earmarked to look into Emergency Medical response.

  • Proposed 2023 budget: $227.1 million
  • Proposed 2023 tax levy: $52.3 million
  • 2022: $221 million
  • 2022 Tax levy: $51.5 million