County Executive Releases Proposed Budget

October 15, 2012 Updated Oct 15, 2012 at 5:34 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

October 15, 2012 Updated Oct 15, 2012 at 5:34 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Property taxes will be going up in Erie County, if the county executive has his way. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz outlined his 2013 Budget Proposal Monday, that calls for a 3.4% increase on property taxes. Poloncarz says the added revenue is needed to fund public libraries and other services in the county.

"It's asking a $1.50 more per month for the average homeowner in Erie County to ensure that their libraries are kept open and get a little more money. It would ensure that one the largest economic drivers for Buffalo and Erie County, it's vibrant arts and cultural scene, continues and is not decimated," said Poloncarz. "It's a fair budget."

Poloncarz says a $30 million budget gap and mandated services required by the New York State Commission of Correction for the county's jail created a 'perfect storm'. The proposal would close the $30 million gap and also slash 63 county jobs. More than 50 of those positions are currently vacant. However, it would keep funding for various road repairs, the county's rodent control program, the sheriff's road patrol program, and various cultural institutions that were previously slashed under the previous administration.

"For the first time in several years, county residents have a budget that doesn't tell them what's important to them, or what they can and can't have. We listened to them and continue down a path of fiscal stability," added Poloncarz.

Spending would also increase for 2013 by 2.1% under the proposal, putting the general fund to $1.385 billion.