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On the delivery of the 2022 Tentative Budget, Chair Bill Sheridan said, “The 2022 Tentative Budget strikes a great balance of providing services and reducing taxes. County Administrator Doyle delivered a budget that meets the goals set by the Board of Legislators. We will spend the month reviewing the information and asking pertinent questions at the upcoming committees meetings. My hope is that we will adopt a responsible budget that, once again, reduces taxes for St. Lawrence County residents.”

Finance Committee Chair Kevin Acres remarked on the 2022 Tentative Budget by saying, “This is the culmination of a bipartisan effort to stabilize the fiscal well-being of the County and the result is no tax increase in six years in an overall $.50 reduction to the tax rate, which for the average homeowner is $50.”

On the evening of delivering her $260M Tentative Budget, County Administrator Ruth Doyle noted, “I am honored to present my seventh county budget that decreases the cost of County Government, both the levy and the true value tax rate. The needs for services has rarely been greater and we are fortunate to have revenue to support maintaining the current level of services and growing where necessary.”

She continued, “The Board of Legislators determined that they will review departments at the jurisdictional committee meetings during November. The specific dates for departments will be posted on the county website. These will occur at the November 8th Operations Committee, the November 15th Services Committee, and the November 22nd Finance Committee. If these reviews conclude at Finance Committee, there may be a Public Hearing scheduled on the 2022 Tentative Budget for Monday, December 6th with an opportunity to adopt the 2022 Budget that evening.”


Executive Summary

2022 Tentative Budget in Brief

Presented on October 25, 2021

By County Administrator Ruth A. Doyle


Budgeted Areas of Interest:             2021 (Adopted)             2022 (Tentative)

True Value Tax Rate (TVTR)*                   $8.19                              $8.02

Appropriations (Budget) **                     $249.6M                        $260.6M

Revenue                                                   $198.7M                        $210.0M

Property Tax Levy                              $50,400,490                     $50,332,681

NYS Retirement                                        $6.4M                            $5.6M

Health Insurance                                      $22.7M                          $26.0M

Sales Tax Revenue                                   $60.4M                          $62.7M

Appropriated Fund Balance                    $ 500K                           $ 250K

*True Value Tax Rate (TVTR) = this amount per $1,000 of assessed valuation is the total taxes

**Budget = this is the total county budget cost


  • Maintain current service levels while recognizing and responding to increased needs for County Services 
  • Continue to fund three reserves (Employee Accrued Liability, Capital Reserve, and Self-Insured) following the close of the year
  • Meet the 2022 fund balance goal to return one percent (1%) or $2.6M following the close of the year
  • Remain under the NYS Tax Cap for 2022

Recommendations in the 2022 Tentative Budget:

  • Not to utilize the $1,188,714 of the available tax cap (Instead Reduce the Levy by $67,809)
  • As the County achieves measurable fiscal health, decrease the appropriation to fund balance to $750,000 (.29%) of the $2.6M (1%) according to the Fund Balance Policy – potentially consider a reappropriation for 2023
  • Appropriate Fund Balance from Highway in the amount of $250,000 to leverage continued paving and bridge projects
  • Appropriate the Capital Project for the Potsdam Highway Outpost Project $3.4M rather than finance similar to the Russell and Lisbon Outposts
  • Increase untargeted contingency to include an additional $200K to absorb unanticipated inflationary impacts on materials and supplies
  • Increase targeted contingency for Social Services to address any additional areas of need not served by the increases in 2021
  • Increase targeted contingency for the Sheriff’s Office in the event the County is awarded a grant for the Drug Task Force and to address the Opioid Epidemic in the County
  • Maintain funds in contingency to settle contracts with three unions with collective bargaining agreements that will expire on 12/31/2021


  • The County Tax Levy, for the last seven years, has remained within the range of less than $2.8M
  • Beginning in the 2020 Budget, the County began to utilize fund balance to minimize the impact on taxpayers. For 2022, there is $250K appropriated from the Highway Fund Balance


  • 839.37 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs), a recommended increase of .05 FTE
  • Net Departmental Staffing Impacts of the 2022 Budget:

2022 Budget: - 3.97 (FTE) Positions Abolished:

  • Community Services - .15
  • County Administrator - .7
  • County Attorney - 1.1
  • Human Resources -.02
  • Probation - 1.66
  • Youth Bureau - .34

2022 Budget: + 4.02 (FTE) Positions Created:

  • Emergency Services + . 2
  • Office for the Aging + 1.54
  • Sheriff’s Office + .18
  • Social Services + 2.1


       2022 True Value Tax Rate (TVTR) Impact for Homeowners

Assessed Value           2021 Taxes      2022 Taxes      Difference                  

$50,000                       $409.59           $401.11           -$ 8.48            

$75,000                       $614.38           $601.67           -$12.72                       

$100,000                     $819.17           $802.22           -$16.96                       

$125,000                     $1,023.96        $1,002.78        -$21.20                       

$150,000                     $1,228.76        $1,203.33        -$25.44                       

$175,000                     $1,433.55        $1,403.89        -$29.68                       

$200,000                     $1,638.34        $1,604.44        -$33.92