Steuben Co Taxes – Officials Looking At A Possible, Minimal Increase

November 12 2021

BATH, NY – The Steuben County Legislature presented their budget this morning in the 10am hour at the county office building in Bath. County officials say there is might be a tax increase of .97 percent.

If it’s passed, the average tax rate could be $7.78 per thousand.

From County Spokesperson Mary Perham:

Steuben County’s tough and uncertain pandemic year of 2020 was followed this year by a
rebounding local economy, notably in sales tax revenues which, in turn, has led to the proposed 2022
County budget of $221 million carrying a slight increase in next year’s tax levy of $51.5 million.
The proposed budget was presented to the county Legislature at 10 am Friday in the Steuben County
Annex on East Morris Street.

If adopted by the county Legislature Nov. 22, next year’s proposed tax levy, up 0.97 percent compared to the 2021 levy, brings with it a decrease in the average tax rate of nearly 2 percent, or $7.78 per $1,000 full assessed value. The proposed 2022 tax rate is down $0.15 per $1,000 compared to the current rate. Actual tax rates depend on each municipality’s valuation which is determined by a complicated state formula.

Steuben’s total proposed budget of $221 million holds a sharp $27.3 million increase compared to $194
million in the current spending plan. County Manager and Budget Officer Jack Wheeler told legislators that increase reflects an approximate $13 million price tag for the construction of a new cell at the county Landfill on Turnpike Road, paid at no cost to taxpayers through an enterprise fund, and offset by a 9 percent increase in other revenues.

“This is a very good budget with very little debt,” said county Legislature Chairman Scott Van Etten, RCaton.” What we do and how we build our budget, and we are conservative in our estimates, is a good
formula and we need to keep going with it.”

Key elements in the 2022 spending plan includes:

· A hike of $8.5 million in sales tax revenues through the end of October – nearly 20 percent higher
than the same period during pandemic-stricken 2020. Sales tax revenues are expected to continue to climb, when compared to sales tax revenues in previous years.
· Increase in Transportation costs of $1.7 million, or 7 percent, bringing next year’s costs back to prepandemic levels and filling eight vacancies.
· A 2 percent increase in Public Safety expenses.
· Flat spending in Department of Social Services programs, with the state’s assurance there will be no
drastic cuts in state aid.
· A 45 percent boost amounting to $282,500 for tourism-related agencies, notably the Steuben County
Conference and Visitors Bureau due to a rebound in room tax revenues.

A public hearing on the 2022 budget is set for 11:30 am, Nov. 22, followed by a vote by the county
Legislature on adopting the budget