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Proposed 2023 Oneida County budget has no tax hike

Anthony J. Picente, Jr.
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. (submitted photo)

UTICA, N.Y. — Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. presented to the Oneida County Board of Legislators his proposed $493 million 2023 budget that carries no tax increase, cuts vacant county positions, and retires $19 million in county debt.

This is the 10th year the budget comes without a property tax levy increase, Picente said a news conference. “I have always adhered to my fiscally-conservative principles when constructing these budgets,” he said. “I don’t borrow more than we can afford, I don’t pass on undue tax burden to our residents, and I never mortgage our financial future for my own political gain.”

The Board of Legislators votes on the budget Nov. 9.


In looking back over recent progress in the county including the Wynn Hospital set to open next year and the Nexus Center set to open a few weeks, Picente said it’s evident the county’s efforts are working. “The facts are clear,” he said. “Our sound fiscal stewardship has created the means to make real investment, real progress, all while protecting the long-term future of our taxpayers.”

The proposed budget is a balanced operation budget that includes a $17 million capital budget and that appropriates $131 million in sales-tax revenue as well as $23.85 million in Oneida Indian Nation revenue. In the 10 years since the county signed an agreement with the Oneida Indian Nation, it has generated $135.6 million in revenue for the county to date, Picente noted.

The county executive acknowledged challenges the county faces include state mandates, which he said make up the vast majority of its costs, as well as struggles to hire and retain employees for county jobs. Oneida County renegotiated a number of contracts in the past year to make salaries more competitive, he said, as well as launched a marketing campaign to attract employees. In addition, a restructuring of county jobs unfunded more than 130 unfilled government positions and defined positions essential to running the county’s operations.

“Our budget includes $2.3 million in funding for work training, job placement, and other initiatives and programs that aim to get people off of public assistance or guide them through unemployment and restore the dignity that comes with work,” Picente said.

The budget also includes $2 million for mental health and suicide prevention for veterans, $1.1 million for the Oneida County Opioid Task Force, $885,000 for Cornell Cooperative Extension, $800,000 for local libraries, $400,000 for Mohawk Valley EDGE, $300,000 for the Utica Zoo, and $200,000 for local humane societies.

While the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funding is not included in the 2023 operating budget, some of it is reflected in two capital projects including $5 million for broadband expansion and $5 million for the county’s Main Street revitalization program.


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