MAYVILLE -- To offset a $13 million budget shortfall next year, County Executive Greg Edwards is pitching a modest tax levy and tax rate increase. But the biggest surprise in Edwards' tentative 2013 budget, however, includes selling the Chautauqua County Home.
The spending plan, presented to the legislature this evening in Mayville, increases the property tax levy by 1.72 percent and the property tax rate by .38 percent. Total expenditures for the county in 2013 are projected to be around $230 million, $6 million more than this year.
One of the more significant expenditures in Edwards' budget, meanwhile, is a $1.3 million local share for the County Home. The intergovernmental transfer payment, if kept in the budget by lawmakers, would be matched dollar for dollar by the federal government.
According to the county executive, the IGT payment was placed in his spending plan to maximize a return if the County Home were sold. The home's fund balance would be transferred to the county's if a sale were completed.
To calculate the county's tax level next year, Edwards projected a $6.3 million profit from selling the County Home. The line item indicates the county executive would prefer selling the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility to Altitude Health Services Inc., which offered $16.5 million in cash outright.
Only two offers were made on the home, one by Altitude Health, and the other by Absolut Care Facilities Management LLC - the latter of which was a lease offer.
Also highlighted in Edwards' plan: The restoration of "postponed" repairs to county roads and bridges; a fund balance that meets the state comptroller's recommended levels; and a budget that stays under the state-imposed 2 percent tax cap.
See Thursday's edition of The Post-Journal for complete coverage.