Proposed budget could raise Rockland property taxes by 5 percent

Rockland County property taxes could go up almost 5 percent under the budget being proposed by County Executive Ed Day. Day rolled out his $723

Day rolled out his $723 million proposal in Nanuet Thursday morning

Day rolled out his $723 million proposal in Nanuet Thursday morning (10/1/15)

NANUET - Rockland County property taxes could go up almost 5 percent under the budget being proposed by County Executive Ed Day.

Day rolled out his $723 million proposal in Nanuet Thursday morning.  It would take effect in January.

The budget proposal comes as the county digs itself out of a massive financial hole that almost left Rockland bankrupt.

"Just two years ago, the word surplus and Rockland County could never be uttered in the same sentence.  But today, we are on the path to fiscal stability," said Day.

Complicating this year's budget is the failure of the county to sell the Summit Park Hospital and nursing home. The $32 million sale fell through at the last minute.

Day says that if the sale of it had gone through, the tax increase for Rockland residents would have been under the state's 2 percent tax cap.

Getting out of the health care business is also affecting other parts of the budget: Health services for prisoners in the county jail had been through the hospital.

Day is budgeting for a health care staff at the jail to take over that responsibility.

He's also trying to eliminate the Sheriff's Horse Patrol, citing cost in the face of county layoffs.

Sheriff Louis Falco tells News 12 that he's reviewing the budget, but says he's concerned about doing away with the mounted unit.

A final budget needs to be in place by Jan. 1.

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