Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus released his proposed $896,328,410 Million operating budget for fiscal year 2023 on Tuesday at the Orange County Association of Towns, Villages and Cities meeting at Grappa in Warwick.
The County Tax Rate will be $2.788, which is the lowest it has been since at least 1976. The County’s Tax Rate was $3.434 last year.
“I am pleased with this budget and the fact that independent auditors and Moody’s have validated the financial decisions we have made. I look forward to working with the dedicated County workforce and the Legislature to build upon these successes,” Neuhaus said.
The County’s finances have been stabilized during Neuhaus’ nine years in office, he says, as union contracts have been settled, long closed bridges have been reopened, highway safety improvements have been made, and tourism related initiatives have been dramatically expanded.
Additional highlights of the 2023 proposed budget include:
The County will utilize none of its unassigned general fund balance in 2023, compared to $9.9 Million in 2022 and $13.8 Million in 2021. The County’s fund balance has more than doubled since Neuhaus took office, back to State recommended levels.
The County’s property Tax Rate has gone down 28 percent since 2014.
Moody’s Investors Service, the financial services ratings company, noted that “the County’s tax base is experiencing growth largely attributed to the tourism industry, sound financial position driven by conservative budget management and a manageable long-term liability profile.”
The County generated $224 million in sales tax through September of 2022, up $21 million from the same time last year.
County Executive Neuhaus continues to expand County services with plans to add a mobile DMV in 2023. The County will also make significant ADA upgrades to Sally’s Dream Playground at Thomas Bull Memorial Park, repave the Heritage Trail from Trailside Treats in Goshen to the Chester Rail Station and pave 15-20 miles of County roads.
Moody’s Investors Service, the financial services ratings company, noted that “the County’s tax base is experiencing growth largely attributed to the tourism industry, sound financial position driven by conservative budget management and a manageable long-term liability profile.” - Steve Neuhaus