Posted at: 10/10/2012 4:40 PM
Updated at: 10/10/2012 5:54 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
ALBANY - A large part of Albany County's 568 million dollar budget will go to pay for programs it is required to provide. Medicaid, public assistance, child welfare, pensions, just to name four.
Another large chunk would pay for the county nursing home that previous executive Mike Breslin tried to close.
When Dan McCoy was in the county legislature he fought against that, but now McCoy wants to lease the home to a private company, which he says will save taxpayers 70 million dollars over ten years.
"We have a medicaid payment that's 189 dollars a day per patient," McCoy said. "It costs us over 300 dollars ( a day) to keep a patient there at Albany County. The medicaid reimbursement rate is better for private than it is versus us and there's other things that they can do that we can't do."
McCoy's proposal will certainly see adjustments made by the county legislature.
The executive doesn't think there's room for any significant savings, meaning legislators will have to take action to exceed the legal two per cent limit just like they did last year, or find cuts McCoy couldn't.
Republican budget committee member Rich Mendick says he expects taxpayers to be irate. "I'm sure we will get lots of phone calls. I'm not in favor of overriding the tax cap at this point in time."
The county legislature would have to vote with at least 60 per cent in favor to exceed the state-imposed two per cent property tax cap. It would hold a public hearing before that required vote would occur.