Rockland legislature’s Democratic majority adopts revised budget

NEW CITY – The Rockland legislature’s democratic majority adopted a revised 2019 budget, eliminating a transfer tax proposed by the county executive, increasing projected sales tax revenues and adding several million dollars for unsettled union contracts.

County Executive Ed Day said he will most likely veto these changes that were approved by the legislature Tuesday night.

“Folks do you spend money you don’t have. Well, the legislature decided to put $3,500,000 million dollars of money that are in court action in the budget. Accessibly to get pay raises for our employees,” Day said.

Day said the $3,500,000 in suspect revenue is called false hope, saying it would be unfair to the unions and will sabotage contract negotiations.

“It’s a one-shot revenue meaning it is only good for one year. We have put $5,800,000 over two years for legitimate pay raises for our employees. And some of the union workers have settled,” Day said.

Day said the legislature is returning to the days of speculative revenue and a refusal to modernize county government. In short, saying a budget like this will lead the county back down the path of a $138,000,000 deficit, with double-digit tax increases.

“The budget we had proposed was affirmed by the controller. It is again under the cap. We have turned this county around based upon the principles of conservative budget and proper spending. I will say to the people of Rockland don’t even begin to think about going back to where we were because we worked too hard to get to where we are now,” Day said.

However, in the end, the legislature majority estimated the changes did not alter Day’s 2.9 percent property tax increase to the county government.

According to the Journal News, the increase remains under the state cap for the county.

The legislature has until December 20 to override any vetoes by day or the amended version with the vetoes becomes the budget.