LITTLE VALLEY - Changes made to Cattaraugus County's tentative 2011 budget have resulted in a 3 percent increase in the county's tax levy.
The Cattaraugus County Legislature recently approved the spending plan, but not before reducing the amount contract agencies' budgets would be cut. The agencies provide arts, day care, museum, SPCA, elder care and more.
They were expected to undergo a 20 percent funding reduction as outlined in the tentative budget. Legislators chose to restore 5 percent of their budgets, however, so the agencies would only be cut 15 percent. The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System will only face a 5 percent funding cut, however, after lawmakers learned the system would lose 25 percent of its state funding due to a state provision requiring local contributions at a certain level. Lawmakers also voted to earmark part of Cornell Cooperative Extension funding for the 4-H program and included funding for the Olean airport.
The changes resulted in the $47,483,000 tax levy, or amount of the budget to be raised by taxes. Last year's levy stood at $46.1 million. The 2010 budget totals $211.2 million.
The budget calls for the elimination of 17 county-funded positions, 13 of which are full-time, and 12 are filled.
County Administrator Jack Searles previously attributed the county's budget woes to state mandates requiring county money be put towards programs the state requires.