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Broome Legislature holds Public Hearing on 2018 Budget

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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -

Five days after the Broome County Legislature unanimously passed the 2018 Budget, a public hearing was held Tuesday to comment upon the in's and out's of what taxpayers can expect.

Inside the County Office building, citizens had the opportunity to voice their questions and opinions on the next fiscal plan.

"In New York taxes are high, businesses are leaving and people are leaving as well. This is a great effort by Broome County as we keep taxpayers low," said George Phillips, Reclaim New York Regional Director.

While only two people commented on the 2018 proposal, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said he believes the low turnout of public members shows an overall approval from local residents.

"We had to make some very tough budget decisions. The fact that you had 2 people come here and talk about the budget out of 200,000 people, overall I think people were happy with what we were able to do," said Jason Garnar.

Thursday, November 2, the legislature passed a budget lowering Broome County Executive Jason Garnar's proposed tax rate increase from 1.84% to 1.5%, due to cuts in equipment and a paid internship within the County's IT department. Garnar said the legislature has made several changes to the original proposal.

Garnar has until November 19 to make any vetoes to the legislature's budget, but said he is not planning to veto the 2018 County Budget. 

"The legislature made some changes...but that's something that is the role of a legislature. There isn't any changes that require any type of veto. This is a very fiscally responsible budget," said Jason Garnar.