Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee say they are playing “Mythbusters” when it comes to the proposed county budget.
In November, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo introduced a spending plan that decreases the tax rate by 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
But the important number is the tax levy, according to Legislator Howard Mafucci.
The former East Rochester schools superintendent says there are multiple rates on a tax bill, and any decrease in the tax rate is mainly the result of a 4 percent increase in assessed value this year.
“The levy is going up 3 percent. So they’re raising the levy, getting $11.5 million more from the taxpayer, while being able to reduce the rate, because the assessed value is up,” he said.
Mafucci and Democrats in the Legislature are calling for more transparency from the county administration, so taxpayers have a clearer understanding about what is happening to them.
Monroe County spokesman Jesse Sleezer says the tax rate, declining for the first time in a decade, is the factor of taxation that the county controls most directly.
“Ultimately, the levy is tied to property valuation. The county does not do property assessments. Local towns do,” he said.
The Legislature is scheduled to vote on the budget at its Dec. 11 meeting.