Furthering her administration’s commitment to provide an open and transparent government, County Executive MaryEllen Odell has prepared an itemized list showing precisely where property tax dollars will be spent pursuant to the 2014 adopted County Budget.
“We believe it is important to note that out of every $100 of County property taxes raised, $73.31 goes to federal and state mandated programs over which we in the County have no control,” said Odell.
The top dollar draining unfunded mandates on the list are expenses billed to the County by Medicaid and the Putnam County Correctional Facility. These two line items account for almost 20 percent of a resident’s property tax bill with Medicaid consuming $9.72 out of every $100 collected and jail absorb another $9.56 of that same $100 collected.
An unfunded mandate is a statute requiring a county, municipality or school district to carry out certain regulations yet provides no funding for that entity to fulfill the requirements.
Today, while striving to provide vital services to her constituents and with little or no mandate relief in sight, Odell is encouraging residents to join her in petitioning “our Federal and State leaders to provide meaningful mandate relief as was promised to us when the property tax cap legislation was first passed.”
Odell noted that each budget her administration has proposed, after modification and adoption by the Legislature, has stayed within the property tax cap. Approximately one-third of the remaining $29.69, or $10.39 of Putnam’s discretionary dollars, goes to fund vital Sheriff Department services such as road patrol, narcotics task forces, school resource officers and community policing programs. An additional $3.10 is used to fund Putnam’s Bureau of Emergency Services which includes the E911 dispatch.
“We are committed to public safety and will continue to fund these essential services to the level that our resources will allow,” said Odell.
Finally, another $3.75 of those discretionary dollars goes to fund services provided by the Office for the Aging.
“We have declared 2014 ‘The Year of the Senior Citizen’ to honor those parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who helped to build Putnam County and who volunteer their time and wisdom to make our community such a wonderful place to live,” said Odell “and we have plans to improve and update their centers this year.”
Odell said her administration will continue “to operate a fiscally responsible and accountable” County government and to provide vital services while keeping property taxes as low as possible.
“Since I took office, Westchester, Dutchess and Rockland counties have seen their bond rating lowered by Moody’s Investors Service. Putnam, however, has maintained its strong Aa2 rating. Every day we explore and implement cost-saving efficiencies to improve services for our resident. As an example, we fully expect that ideas generated by our Transportation Task Force (TTF) will improve the transit mobility of our residents at a substantially reduced cost.”
Odell said further details concerning the TTF will “be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.”
To access the 2014 Property Tax Dollar List, visit the county website at: www.putnamcountynyonline.