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Onondaga County Executive presents a $1.5 billion budget

A man in a blue suit stands behind a lectern with microphones as two other men look on.
Scott Willis
County Executive Ryan McMahon presents his budget proposal as county attorney Ben Yaus and legislature chairman Jim Rowley look on.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has presented a nearly $1.5 billion budget that includes a significant cut in the property tax rate.

McMahon wants to make his proposed 15% tax rate cut the centerpiece of his budget, he says in an effort to give residents a relief.

“This gives back all assessment, growth and cuts our property tax levy by $9 million. We are giving back $26 million to the taxpayers of this county,” said McMahon.

For a house assessed at $200,000, that translates to $128 in savings, but most might not see the full benefit due to rising assessments.

McMahon proposed $5.5 million in additional funds for school-based mental health services, $2.5 million for lead paint abatement, and $750,000 in available grants for home-based daycare improvements. He also proposed $1.5 million dollars for a one-stop shop for workforce development and training.

“We must make sure that every person in our county has the ability to take advantage of the unprecedented growth and opportunity that is taking place, and I believe the creation of the one stop shop is an important part of making this a reality for every neighborhood,” said McMahon.

McMahon resurrected a plan to expand Hopkins Road Park in Liverpool. Lawmakers rejected his previous ambitious $25 million idea from 2021. He hopes a more modest $6 million plan to upgrade fields and add a multi-purpose superfield will fit the bill.

“Sports tourism nationally is thriving. Hopkins Rd. Park offers our community the perfect opportunity to enhance one of the popular county parks and capture outside spending at the same time. Let's not let this opportunity pass. Don't ever say I can't pivot,” said McMahon.

Chris Ryan, democratic floor leader, said it’s a plan he can get behind.

Lawmakers begin their review of the overall budget on Tuesday, and overall, don’t expect any major disagreements.

“Certainly there are some priorities that we're going to have," Ryan said. "We're going to be bringing some funding for some authorized agencies. We're going to be looking to make some budget modifications, but that probably won't be affecting the tax rate."

The legislature is expected to vote on the revised budget on October 10th.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at