With a budget deficit looming of possibly $50 million, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef will release the details of a multi-pronged, multi-year plan to strengthen Rockland’s fiscal position, consolidate departments and reduce services and programs on Tuesday. Vanderhoef also plans to request county legislative approval for additional revenue streams.
The county is waiting for the results of a of county finances including its hospital, Summit Park Medical Center. That audit is expected within the next few weeks.
According to Vanderhoef’s office, the impact of the state’s new two percent property tax cap, escalating costs for state-mandated services, declining state aid, and stagnant sales tax revenue numbers contributed to his decision to move forward with program cuts and reductions. The reductions will include the consolidation of numerous county departmental operations not mandated by the state.
“Medicaid alone accounts for more than 100% of ’s property tax,” said Vanderhoef. “As a result, I have no other option but to develop and implement a bare-bones budget, as well as seeking funding from additional revenue sources. I invite the Rockland County Legislature to work with me in moving these stringent measures forward so that we can significantly improve the fiscal health of Rockland County government.”
Ron Levine, director of communications for the county executive, said department heads and county legislators are being contacted about the proposal.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Levine, adding there will be 11 charts specifying how certain numbers were determined. “Everything will be on the table.”