Columbia supervisors approve $152.4M county budget
Dec 11, 2020 6:00 am
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a $154.2 million budget for 2021, reflecting a $5.3 million decrease in spending from 2020. “I would like to thank all you supervisors for the support in making a lot of the tough decisions we made throughout the year,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Murell said. “And I want to thank our department heads for working with us and cooperating, but most of all I want to thank our employees, who sacrificed quite a bit for us the last year. We really appreciate the fact that they’re working with us to try to get our budget in balance.” A homeowner with a property assessed at just under $255,000 will see a reduction in their county tax of 1.5 percent, for a savings of almost $22 for the year. The $5.3 million reduction in the budget comes from a $3.6 million decline in the general fund and a $1.8 million decrease reflected in county roads and machinery. The spending plan calls for a 1.56 percent tax levy increase, falling under the state’s tax cap of 2 percent for 2021, Murell said. The county imposed a hiring freeze of $1.7 million. In addition, the county worked with the unions to reach an agreement calling for no raises for the beginning of 2021, Murell said. Officials were conservative with their estimates for the 2021 budget due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, said Columbia County Treasurer PJ Keeler. The spending plan reflects decreases of $1.1 million in sales-tax revenue and $3.5 million in state aid, and a decrease to the county’s road bond of $528,000 because there is no state snow-plowing contract. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.