The election is over, and the County Executive and County Legislators are working on the county budget – our most important duty. Here are 10 things about the budget to help you follow our deliberations over the next month:
- When the budget is passed each year in December, it’s the budget for the following year, so we are working on the 2014 budget.
- The main sources of revenue used to fund the budget come from property tax, sales tax and state and federal aid.
- More than half the budget is spending mandated by the state and federal governments.
- The County Executive must propose the budget by November 15 each year. (County Charter 167.71)
- The County Executive’s proposed budget must contain a “budget message which shall outline a fiscal policy for the county government, describing the important features of the current budget with reference both to proposed expenditures and anticipated income.” (County Charter 167.71)
- “The proposed county budget shall be filed with the County Board and a copy filed with the Committee on Budget and Appropriations . . . [and] shall be open to inspection by any person during business hours under conditions prescribed by the County Board. The Committee on Budget and Appropriations may file with the County Board a memorandum of any proposed changes therein by the first Monday in December.” (County Charter 167.81)
- The “County Board will hold a public hearing on the county budget and the memorandum of proposals submitted by the Committee on Budget and Appropriations. Said public hearing shall be held by the third Monday in December.” After the required public hearing, “the County Board may revise, alter, increase or decrease the items of the proposed county budget as presented by the County Executive” but shall not increase the budget in excess of the increase in the proposed memorandum of the Committee on Budget and Appropriations, and any further increase triggers another public hearing to be held with at least 5 days public notice of the proposed increases. (County Charter 167.101)
- “When the County Board shall increase the total proposed expenditures, it shall also increase the total anticipated income so that the total means of financing the county budget shall equal the amount of the aggregate proposed expenditures.” (County Charter 167.101)
- “The County Executive, within five days after presentation to him of a budget containing increased items, may veto any such addition or increase, in which event the appropriation for the item or items vetoed shall be at the amount included in the County Executive’s original budget proposal unless the County Board by a vote of not less than two-thirds of all members shall pass such addition or increase over the veto.” (County Charter 167.101)
- The budget shall be passed by December 27 each year. (County Charter 167.101).
Here is the link to review the proposed 2014 Westchester County Budget: http://www3.westchestergov.com/county-budgets
County Legislator Jim Maisano 914-355-9205 CtyLegJimMaisano@gmail.com