In a resounding bipartisan vote of 13-0, Rockland County legislators have given their unanimous approval for the 2024 County Budget, a fiscal plan that not only includes a 2 percent property tax reduction but also maintains crucial programs and safeguards against any layoffs.
The passage of this budget marks a significant milestone, capping a decade of strenuous efforts to eliminate a deficit, streamline budgeting processes, and reduce or eliminate county taxes wherever possible. In recent years, Rockland County has seen the elimination of the motor vehicle tax, the residential energy sales tax, and, notably, no county property tax increases for 2022 and 2023. Now, with the 2024 budget, Rockland County residents will experience a 2 percent reduction in county property taxes.
Rockland County Budget & Finance Committee Chairman Legislator Aron Wieder expressed his satisfaction with the budget’s approval, stating, “We have truly come a long way.” The $870 million amended 2024 County Budget reflects a decrease of approximately $2.6 million, equivalent to 2 percent of property taxes. The budget also ensures there will be no layoffs or service cuts. Furthermore, it allocates additional funding for patriotic observances, creates new positions to strengthen Social Services, and bolsters funding for nonprofit contract agencies.
Legislator Wieder highlighted the collaborative nature of the budget process, stating, “The efforts paid off with a budget that represents our shared values when it comes to Rockland County’s residents and businesses.”
County Budget & Finance Vice Chairman Legislator Michael Grant emphasized the county’s financial progress, stating, “It has taken years of pointed efforts to get us deeply in the black and with a strong surplus. I am sure that through the continued careful management of the budget, Rockland County will strengthen its fiscal vitality even more.”
County Legislature Minority Leader Lon Hofstein acknowledged the bipartisan effort, saying, “Both the Minority and the Majority members of the County Legislature were able to work together with the County Executive’s Administration in working out a very stable, realistic budget for 2024. The people of Rockland County count on us to deliver, and that’s what this plan does.”
County Executive Ed Day plans to immediately review the 2024 Amended Budget and expressed gratitude to the Legislature for their diligent review. He noted the collaborative contributions and innovative ideas that emerged from the process and anticipated ongoing collaboration with the County Legislature in the years ahead.
County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. commended everyone involved in the budget review process and expressed hope for more tax cuts in the future. Majority Leader Alden H. Wolfe emphasized fulfilling their commitment to taxpayers and maintaining vital services while cutting taxes.
Rockland County underwent significant changes in its budgeting processes over the years, including the adoption of the Fiscal Stabilization Act in 2013, changes to the County Charter in 2014, and increased oversight of nonprofit organizations in 2017.
Legislator Wieder thanked various individuals and departments for their contributions to the budget review process, underscoring the importance of shared goals and collaborative efforts.
Looking ahead, the County Executive has five working days to issue any vetoes after receiving the amended adopted version of the budget. The Legislature, in turn, has until Dec. 20 to override any vetoes, requiring a two-thirds vote per veto item.
The successful passage of the 2024 County Budget signifies a significant milestone in Rockland County’s financial recovery and responsible fiscal management.