BATH — A public hearing on the proposed 2019 Steuben County budget of $191 million calls is set for 11:30 a.m. Monday, following the regular 10 a.m. county legislative session. The budget is expected to be adopted by the Steuben Legislature following the hearing.

The 11:30 a.m. hearing is a change from the standard 6 p.m. public hearing on proposed annual budgets hosted by the county Legislature for years, with little or no public attendance.

For the third straight year, Steuben’s proposed 2019 spending plan calls for a slight decrease in the county tax levy and tax rate. Actual property taxes will depend on the equalization rate of the town in which property owners reside.

If approved by the county Legislature Monday (Nov. 26), the proposed 2019 budget’s tax levy of $49,989,115 will be down $8,797 compared to the 2018 levy of $49,997,912.

The tentative 2019 average tax rate of $8.25 per $1,000 assessed value is $0.19 less compared to the 2018 average tax rate of $8.44. Key costs in the budget include:

➢ The addition of four county deputies to combat the abuse of opioids and other illegal substances and state-mandated staffing at the jail will drive public safety costs up by roughly 7 percent.

➢ Resources for addicted individuals also will create additional costs in community health programs.

➢ Other expected increases in 2019 will be due state-imposed programs, notably the Raise The Age (RTA) law and an older court settlement by the state to improve access to public defense.

The public hearing on, and adoption of, the county’s 2019 budget will follow the regular legislative session. The regular session agenda includes:

· Authorizing a transfer of $90,000 from the Contingent Fund to the Sheriff’s Budget.

· Authorizing the acceptance of the New York State Office of Mental Health 2018 Cost of Living Allocation.

· Authorizing the distribution of semi-annual mortgage tax receipts.