Earlier this month, the Broome County Legislature unanimously approved the 2024 County budget, which includes tax cuts and increased investments in public safety and infrastructure.

According to a press release from County Executive Jason Garnar’s office, Broome County residents are set to experience continued financial relief as the 2024 budget’s passage marks the sixth consecutive year of tax reductions. Aside from property tax cuts, the budget also allocates substantial funds toward enhancing public safety measures, infrastructure and the county’s workforce.

Garnar’s release shared the budget’s specifics and highlighted additional improvements Broome County residents may expect.

“For the sixth year in a row, we’ve enacted a responsible bipartisan County Budget on behalf of the people of Broome County,” Garnar said. “This budget once again saves taxpayers money while making Broome County an even better and safer place to live, work and visit.”

Under Garnar’s leadership, Broome County’s overall property tax rate has seen a decline of 22 percent. Key aspects of the approved budget encompass several strategic investments, including road infrastructure, enhancements to certain areas, workforce development, community support and strengthening public safety.

The budget’s highlights include a “record-breaking” county road construction program planned for 2024 to pave over 80 miles of roads and allocated funding for the renovation of the Greater Binghamton Airport, Grippen Park, SUNY Broome’s Health Center and the construction of the Veterans Resource Center. It also includes an additional $3 million investment for county employees, with a focus on retention and attracting new staff. $500,000 will go toward small community grants intended for nonprofits and municipalities, and four additional members are set to join the Sheriff’s Road Patrol.

Garnar expressed gratitude to Broome County’s budget director, the heads of various administrative departments and county legislators — including Chairman Dan Reynolds — for assisting him in passing the budget.

Comprised of 15 elected members, the Broome County Legislature is the policy-making and budgeting authority of Broome County. The body holds authority to pass local legislation, make appropriations, manage indebtedness and approve the annual budget. It also holds the ability to establish, modify, consolidate or dissolve administrative units not overseen by elected officials. As part of its oversight role, the legislature determines the equalization rate for the City of Binghamton and the 16 municipalities in the county. Additionally, all contracts for professional services exceeding the threshold of $15,000 fall under the legislature’s jurisdiction.

Zachary Shi, a freshman majoring in business administration, expressed confidence about the county government’s work.

“As a student residing in Broome County, it’s heartening to read about the unanimous approval of the 2024 County Budget,” Shi said. “Knowing that the legislature has continued to help the community financially throughout the years is good to know.”