The Monroe County Legislature approved the 2018 budget Tuesday night by a vote of 26 to 3.
The budget totals nearly $1.2 billion, which Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo says holds spending growth to 1.3%, below the rate of inflation which is 2.2%.
Dinolfo also says it keeps the property tax rate flat and funds economic development initiative and quality of life services.
The plan includes an eight point plan to bolster Child Protective Services, including funding for 30 new caseworker positions. Dinolfo says that will bring Child Protective Services’ staffing back above 2010 levels.
The spending plan also includes nearly $2.5 million for the Department of Planning and Development, which administers a number of county economic development and workforce development programs.
The county legislature’s Democratic Minority Leader Cindy Kaleh says the budget “perpetuates the illusion that taxes are flat…” She says county taxpayers continue to see their tax bills “creep higher as the county collects more revenue and fees…”
That said, Kaleh says it’s not to say there aren’t things to like about the spending plan. She says the Dinolfo administration has embraced ideas that Democrats pushed for including the dissolution of Local Development Corporations and adding to the Human Services Department.
Kaleh says two amendments offered by county Democratic legislators, one to offset a drop in salaries of the probation department and one to add additional resources to child care services were defeated along party lines.