HERKIMER – In a 14-3 vote, the Herkimer County Board of Legislators voted to approve their 2018 budget, which includes a tax increase.
The 2018 budget includes a 0.79 percent tax increase for Herkimer county residents and increased spending for foster care and adoption services, which several legislators say is a direct result of the opioid crisis.
The new budget of more than $101 million, includes a $2.5 million increase. There will be a spending decrease on college chargebacks and less spending on public health.
Although three legislators voted against the budget, we spoke with one legislator in the majority who gave the financial framework his approval.
“It's a very fair budget,” said Herkimer County Legislator Patrick Russell. “It's very fair for all the communities that have to pay the property taxes. And we try to do everything that we can to keep the tax rates down. So when you're looking at 3 cents per thousand, that's a good budget.”
Russell says that legislature members have been meeting for nearly a month to prepare for the general body meeting.