Statement From Monroe County Executive Adam Bello on Legislature’s Approval of 2023 Budget

December 13th, 2022

Budget Signing

$1.34 billion budget fuels key initiatives and decreases the county’s tax rate to lowest full value rate since the 1940’s

View Full Statement (PDF)

Tonight, the Monroe County Legislature (describe) passed, and I signed, the county’s 2023 budget.

This $1.34 billion budget fuels our key initiatives while ensuring we continue to provide the important programs and services county residents expect. It is a common-sense spending plan that maintains our focus on public safety, public health, economic and workforce development and infrastructure while enacting the lowest property tax rate in Monroe County’s recorded history.

I’m proud to deliver a budget that invests in our community and builds on the sound financial practices that recently resulted in the three major credit ratings agencies assigning the county its highest ratings in two decades.

I thank the members of the Legislature for supporting my fiscally-responsible plan, recognizing the importance of the work the county does and supporting the recovery agenda I laid out in my 2022 State of the County Address.

2023 Budget Highlights:

  • Year-to-year spending increase is more than 3 full percentage points below inflation

  • Full value tax rate falls by $.90 cents to $7.56 per $1,000 – the largest single property tax decrease in 30 years and the lowest rate since 1947

  • Tax levy increase of 1.2% is the lowest in nearly a decade, and is more than $10 million less than allowed under the state’s Property Tax Cap

Public Safety — This Budget:

  • Invests more in public safety with a $14 million, or 8.6%, increase in the Sheriff’s Office budget that will more than double the staffing of the Tactical Unit, including 11 additional road patrol deputies.

  • Adds $700,000 to expand the Rochester Threat Advisory Committee, or ROCTAC, a collaborative coalition of businesses, schools and colleges, social service agencies, mental health professionals and local and federal law enforcement that partner to prevent acts of targeted violence and online radicalization. This provides for an additional three deputies, bringing the total increase in deputies for 2023 to 14.

  • Provides an additional four Assistant District Attorneys who will help expedite the prosecution of non-violent felony cases like retail store and catalytic converter thefts.

  • Increases the laboratory budget of the Medical Examiner’s Office by 12.5% to add two full-time toxicologists, provide competitive wages and create a career ladder for experienced staff. A $500,000 increase in funding for the crime lab will add two forensic firearms examiners.

Public Health — This Budget:

  • Allocates $1.5 million in opioid settlement funds to expand the Improving Addiction Coordination Team and continues our push to provide Naloxone distribution boxes throughout the community to help prevent overdose deaths.

  • Provides $175,000 to expand the successful TRYBE Ecotherapy program for veterans. This program offers nature-based therapy to promote health, healing and recovery. So far, data shows a 70% reduction in PTSD symptoms for participants. The additional funding will allow us to double the number of veterans able to participate in the program

  • Provides additional funding for Early Intervention Services and Preschool Special Education and adds two bilingual health service coordinators to assist families navigate getting children the services they need. Additionally, Preschool Special Education reimbursement rates will increase by 5% for the third consecutive year, fulfilling this administration’s commitment to increase those rates by a total of 15%.

  • Further invests $1.4 million in our community integration model, so people will be able to access support services through trusted partner organizations right in their own neighborhoods – a key recommendation of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity.

Economic Development — This Budget:

  • Funds the construction of a new Applied Technology Center at Monroe Community College, increasing opportunity for students to receive training for high-demand skilled trades.

  • Continues the county’s in-house Minority and Women-owned business certification program offered by the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This successful program — another key recommendation of the RASE commission — increases opportunity for MWBE’s to bid on local and county contracts.

  • Continues the modernization of the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency through its support for workforce training programs such as the Young Manufacturing Training Program, or YAMTEP, and through the Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Training Program, or MAPP.

  • Continues this administration’s commitment to increasing support for small- and mid- sized arts groups by doubling county funding for these organizations and providing $60,000 in annual support for Hochstein School of Music, Garth Fagan Dance and the Avenue Black Box Theatre.

Community Infrastructure — This Budget:

  • Continues renovations at Seneca Park Zoo, for the new front entry and tropics complex.

  • Continues ongoing renovations to accommodate MLB-mandated upgrades and improve fan experiences at Frontier Field – soon to be Innovative Field.

  • Invests in the county’s human infrastructure of dedicated employees by funding an across-the-board pay increase for all employees, retention bonuses and pay increase for social services workers including caseworkers, examiners, child protective services staffers, child detention staffers and probation employees.

  • Creates an Environmental Quality Office to oversee and coordinate efforts to implement Phase I of the County’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions stemming from county operations.

  • Provides for a new Chief Information Security Officer to safeguard against cyber hacking and secure the confidentiality and integrity of county data, networks and all critical computer-linked infrastructure.