Rensselaer County Budget With 10 Percent Property Tax Rate Reduction, the Largest Reduction in County History, Approved Unanimously by Legislature, County Executive Steve McLaughlin Announces
Budget is Fourth Consecutive Budget to Reduce Taxes, and County Property Tax Rate Now Compares to 2002 Levels
The 2022 Rensselaer County budget that includes the biggest property tax rate reduction in county history while maintaining important county services and overall fiscal stability was approved by the County Legislature tonight, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced.
The 2022 budget proposal as presented by McLaughlin in October includes a 10 percent property tax rate reduction. The 10 percent tax rate reduction is the fourth consecutive tax reduction by McLaughlin, and combined, the four tax reductions total just under 18 percent.
The four county property tax reductions approved during McLaughlin’s first term mean the county property tax rate is closed to the amount paid by county taxpayers in 2002, the Executive said.
The 2022 budget was approved by a 15-0 margin. All budgets introduced by McLaughlin have been approved with no opposition.
“We promised to make every tax dollar count, and this is the latest budget to show we are fulfilling that pledge. This budget means a savings for taxpayers and strengthens a platform for future growth and development in our county,” said McLaughlin.
“I thank members of the County Legislature for their strong support for a budget that continues our record of reducing taxes while maintaining or expanding important county services,” continued McLaughlin.
The 10 percent property tax decrease for 2022 reflects the county’s strong financial position and effective management of county finances during his first term, McLaughlin told legislators when the budget was presented. The county has been able to grow the surplus significantly, thanks to efficiencies employed by his administration and a continued strong performance with sales tax.
The county continued to perform efficiently and effectively during the pandemic, McLaughlin noted in the budget presentation last month. The county recently earned a 0 score, the best possible, on the fiscal stress test administered by the New York State Comptroller.
McLaughlin said that he been informed in recent days by residents of being contacted by mortgage providers to lower monthly payments and in some cases, offer refunds for taxes paid via escrow.
“We are seeing and hearing proof of the positive impact of our work to reduce property taxes in Rensselaer County. We are proud of that record and proud of the results we are earning for our taxpayers,” said McLaughlin.
The county has been under the state tax cap since the tax cap was implemented over a decade ago, McLaughlin noted.
The property tax reduction comes as the county has made a major investment in improving county roads, with over 165 miles of roads paved. The county in recent weeks completed the Drive for 65, an effort to set a record by paving 65 miles in one year, breaking the record of 50 miles set in 2020. The actual number of miles paved in 2021 actually exceeds 70 miles, including several road miles that needed to be paved twice because of storms and flooding in July.
McLaughlin used the presentation of the budget to announce the county will be moving the Troy Area Senior Center to a new, more modern space in City Station in downtown Troy. McLaughlin also said the county will be reviewing possible replacements for senior centers in both Rensselaer, which has had a change in ownership, and Hoosick Falls, which is an older and inefficient facility. Work on the Troy facility is set to begin in the coming weeks.
“We appreciate the strong support for this budget by our county lawmakers, and the hard work and dedication by our department heads and staff in county government. Once again, we have navigated difficult challenges, and once again delivered, this time, with the largest tax reduction in county history,” said McLaughlin.