The following is a statement from Orange County Executive Edward Diana on the Legislature’s decision to override the 2013 budget veto:
I am deeply disappointed by the Legislature’s decision to override the budget veto and raise County property taxes. This move is reckless, irresponsible, and, quite simply, the wrong one for the people of Orange County. Our residents are doing their very best to cope with ongoing financial challenges on a federal, state, and local level. Many are still recovering from two consecutive years of noteworthy storms. Now, is simply not the time to raise taxes by 8.5%.
By adopting their budget amendments, the Legislature is forcing the County of Orange to exceed the New York State 2% tax levy cap, without the required passage of a local law. They’ve chosen to build a budget on speculative revenue opportunities, hypothetical expense cutting measures, and unrealized union concessions. Despite prudent advice from the Legislature’s own financial counsel, they have chosen to disregard accepted accounting standards and send our County down a path toward certain financial ruin.
It is unfortunate that the emotional, personal, and political agendas of a few legislators have created such dysfunction within the Legislature. I believe they have lost sight of how best to serve all 372,000 residents of our County and are destroying the financial stability that we have worked so hard to establish.
As Chief Executive and Chief Budget Officer of this great County, I am responsible each and every day for serving the needs of all Orange County residents. I must now play the difficult hand I have been dealt by the Legislature and protect the financial viability of our County. The County Budget team and I will do everything within our power to limit the negative impact this irresponsible budget will have on our County employees and the residents of Orange County.