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Onondaga County lawmakers approve $1.4 billion budget, including 11% tax cut

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media

Onondaga County lawmakers approved a $1.4 billion budget for 2023 Tuesday, that includes an 11% property tax rate cut, more investments in school mental health services, and lead poisoning programs, among other things. Lawmakers also allocated funding for next steps in getting ready for Micron, the technology company that’s planning to build a mega computer chip fabricator in the Town of Clay.

Labor is one common thread that runs through both votes. For Onondaga County, budget hearings made clear the labor shortage in county government according to Ways and Means Committee Chair Brian May.

"The DA’s office for example came in and talked about some real serious challenges they face from a retention standpoint,” said May. “So they’re working with the administration and we support what they are doing with the administration to try to find a way to pay ADA’s more, so the job is more lucrative and attractive."

May said the new budget continues to fund positions whole, with the hope those positions are ultimately filled over time, especially in public safety and social services departments.

Lawmakers also agreed to spend $25 million, initially earmarked for a large outdoor sports complex, on projects to help prepare for the Micron Technology chip fab complex. Legislator Tim Burtis said it’ll help boost the local workforce needed for the giant chip fab.

"50 percent is going to additional workforce and community infrastructure improvements,” said Burtis. “I call it human infrastructure. Trying to get partners in educational institutions. Working on labor."

The other half of the funds will go towards work at the White Pine Commerce Site, for things like land acquisition, road improvements, demolition activities, site clearing, permitting and zoning. Micron announced last week that it would invest $100 billion in central New York over the next 20 years.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.