Onondaga County Executive McMahon presents proposed county budget for next fiscal year
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon prioritizes children and wishes to slash property taxes by 11% in his proposed budget.
On Thursday, McMahon presented a $1.4 billion proposed budget to county lawmakers.
“We're in strong fiscal condition, we have strong reserves, we are cutting property taxes in a meaningful way," McMahon said. "And certainly, that's something we've done over the last 10 years, but we've never done it at this rate. So, we've given more back to the people we continue to invest, both in economic initiatives or infrastructure, but this year, we're focused on our kids.”
His budget also includes a $5 million commitment to address the lead paint crisis. McMahon said the challenge with removing the lead paint is due to the shortage of certified workers to perform remediation.
“As opposed to using that as some sort of excuse [to] why more is not being done, we will work to actually solve the workforce issue," McMahon said. "We will work to build local capacity of lead certified contractors through supporting a recruitment drive, and assisting with fees to become HUD and EPA certified. We will also support training for existing contractors to learn lead-safe work practices and dedicate funding towards upgrading outdated lead inspection equipment.”
McMahon also introduced a plan to assure children up to age six are being tested for lead poisoning.
“Transportation, work schedules, childcare for siblings, these are all potential barriers that people in our community face," McMahon said. "That is why we will be investing in a mobile lead testing van that will allow our staff to drive to a child's home to perform lead screening testing.”
McMahon said he wants to invest in youth development with a proposed budget of $5 million for a children’s rising center in the city. The project is in partnership with the city of Syracuse and the Allyn Foundation.
“This best-in-class facility will include an early learning center, a parent-child play center, a YMCA, and while also how's the offices of the Early Childhood Alliance," McMahon said. "Even more importantly, this center will serve as a constant safe space for children and families while offering programs and experiences that will promote positive youth development.”
The county executive also set aside more than $5 million for school-based mental health services.
McMahon’s other funding priorities include improving senior centers, hiring more sheriff's deputies, and continuing the Main Street Economic Development program. County lawmakers will spend at least the next week combing through the budget before voting on Oct. 11. The county's 2023 fiscal year begins January 1.