Says Overall Growth in Surplus is Historic, and Comes During Four Years of Property Tax Reductions
Rensselaer County ended 2021 in strong financial position, with an operational surplus of $22.1 million, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced today.
The surplus for 2021 grows the county surplus to just under $100 million, and gives the county resources for upcoming investments in services, infrastructure and county facilities, said McLaughlin.
The growth of the surplus came during a period when the county, over the past four years, has reduced property taxes at McLaughlin’s direction by just under 20 percent. County taxes were reduced by 10 percent in the 2022 budget introduced by McLaughlin.
“Rensselaer County has been able to reduce property taxes significantly while growing our surplus, thanks to careful management, accurate and conservative forecasts and common-sense budgeting,” said McLaughlin.
“We are particularly proud that we were able to grow our surplus during the height of the pandemic, when there was increased demand on services and new pressures everywhere,” added McLaughlin.
“The $100 million surplus is impressive, and is double what is recommended by the State Comptroller for a county our size. It positions us extremely well for the future,” said McLaughlin.
The surplus for the county was approximately $20 million when McLaughlin took office in 2018. The growth of the Rensselaer County surplus is attributable to savings for personnel, energy and purchasing in most sectors of county government.
The county has also seen a significant increase in sales tax. Each of the past four years, the county’s sales tax returns have exceeded the amount budgeted for the county. In 2019, the county led the state in sales tax growth.
County management and savings generation has produced positive results in previous years. The county also saw a $20 million surplus in 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
The county has also largely avoided bonding during the past four years, with the exception of bonding for the new emergency services training complex and energy performance projects.
“The growth in our surplus is good news for taxpayers, because it shows we are ready for future challenges and have the resources to maintain tax stability and needed county services. The work of fiscal and management teams, and county workers, has been impressive and these results are historic,” said McLaughlin.
“In the coming weeks, we will be announcing significant and important improvements in our county services, facilities and infrastructure. These improvements will be made possible by our careful management and growth of our surplus,” added McLaughlin.