In a 16-2 bi-partisan vote, Suffolk County legislators approved a $3.2 billion budget for 2020 during a special meeting this past Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Highlights of the budget include $640,000 for contract agencies, additional positions in the Sheriff’s Office, restoration of funding to the Legal Aid Society and $500,000 for implementation of the school bus camera program.
The property tax level for the Southwest Sewer District has been decreased, restoring it to the 2019 level. Cash reserves were increased by $2 million for settlements to reduce the need to borrow to cover liability expenses, reduced reduced sales tax revenue in the general fund by $1.7 million over two years and included repayment of funds borrowed from the Assessment Stabilization Reserve fund.
The additions were offset by an anticipated $2.5 million in fine revenue from the school bus camera program, reducing repayment of the Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund from $12 million in the recommended 2020 budget by $2.6 million, and reducing the uncollected property tax contingency line by $1.6 million.