Counties in the News, January 19, 2017

Thursday's news from counties across the state.
Initial Budget Highlights for Counties
The proposed 2017-18 State Budget provides counties with the potential for revenue increases, and adds new costs through mandate expansions or cost shifts from the state.
The budget proposal includes provisions designed to increase revenues through the public safety surcharge and NYSAC is advocating that some of those funds be targeted to 9-1-1 emergency dispatch centers.
The budget levels the sales tax playing field between “Main Street” retailers, and companies that operate on the Internet.
The budget provides counties with new flexibilities to use design-build, which will save counties both time and money on some critical local capital projects.
The spending plan proposal includes $2 billion in funds for clean water projects.
The budget also includes a provision that would require county leaders to develop referenda on shared service programs among cities, towns, and villages, but it does not include schools or New York City, which when combined, account for 78 percent of all property taxes levied in New York State.
The budget recommends consolidating 39 public health appropriations that overlap into 4 pools, and would reduce the funding for each pool by 20 percent. 
The budget expands services under the public defense program, but it does not include mandate relief from the current county costs association with the State responsibility of providing indigent defense services.
The budget also shifts state costs to the state in child welfare and foster care funding.
NYSAC is continuing to analyze the proposed state budget, and will be providing a more detailed summary to county leaders.


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