County’s budget plans hinge on state pension, community college chargeback mandates

NORWICH – Chenango County is anticipating a $4.25 million payout next year for government employee pension contributions. Coupled with a bill approaching $1 million for community college chargebacks and restricted to a 2 percent cap on property tax increases, budgeters aren’t sure how to plan for 2013.

Counties’ retirement plan contributions, and the contributions of all employers in the state’s system, will increase from 18.9 to 20.9 percent for non-uniform and from 25.8 to 28.9 percent for police and fire of payroll next year, according to the New York State Comptroller’s office. Since 2000, county pension contributions have grown from $47 million to more than $900 million in 2012.

Back in 2009, Chenango County’s contribution was $1.32 million; in 2010 it was $2.30 million; and in 2011, $3.17 million. Treasurer William Craine said he is expecting a bill for $3.9 million this year.

“A three million pension increase in four years? There’s no question; it increases a lot of pressure,” he said Wednesday. The Finance Committee was scheduled to meet today to go over this and other department’s draft budget plans.

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