Taxes & Spending

Right-sizing government and holding the line on taxes

As your County Executive, I continue the fight to reduce the tax burden so you can keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket!

In my first year, we cut property taxes and lowered the property tax rate to its lowest level in 15 years, reduced the overall tax burden in the budget for the first time in 25 years, and lowered sales tax to make it fairer and less regressive, all with no new borrowing. That’s in addition to enacting a new property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.

Here are some of the ways I’ve made our county government spend less, tax less, and work even smarter for you…

Spend Less

  • Priority based budgeting. You probably do it at home, and we should do it in county government. 
  • Froze pay raises for politicians- including the county executive*
  • In addition to following the state mandated tax cap, we implemented our own administrative controls,  requiring offsets and saying no to new long-term legacy costs funded by short term savings
  • Reviewed, consolidated & centralized county resources and programs to save money and make services more efficient and cost-effective
  • Partnered with local governments and other municipalities to revisit opportunities for shared services and reduce cost of services to taxpayers.

Tax Less

  • Reigned in county taxes and spending by doing more to right-size county government and deliver essential services more effectively and efficiently
  • Eliminated sales tax with a 2 year exemption for basic clothing and footwear for all people, including low income & middle class families who are disproportionately affected by this regressive tax:

Consumption based taxation is still more preferable as opposed to more punitive taxes on income or property; however, this particular type of sales tax is especially unfair and regressive. County government should not reap tax benefits from a windfall caused by Washington D.C.’s misguided policies that have created sky-rocketing inflation.

  • Said NO to new costly tax diversion proposals that would simply make it easier for other governments to spend more of your hard earned tax dollars
  • Introduced a Taxpayer Bill of Rights / Taxpayer Protection Act*
    • Any proposed tax rate increases will be discussed in an open and transparent manner
    • Any proposed tax rate increases will include extended public comment periods beyond what is required by state law
    • Any tax rate increase should be passed with a 60% vote (or supermajority)

When our county government has more money than it needs, give it back to the taxpayers.

On the state level, as your former Assemblyman, I voted against every tax increase proposed by Albany politicians and embraced opportunities to provide genuine tax relief for our hardworking neighbors and families.

I cut income taxes for middle class families (2022-2023 State Budget) and eliminated other regressive taxes from affecting hard working New Yorkers (2022, Chap. 386).

Here are some other ways I fought to reform New York State and right-size government:

  • Opposed automatically increasing the budget year after year
  • Made the property tax cap permanent
  • Sponsored legislation to amend the State Constitution to cap state debt, prohibit “backdoor borrowing” by authorities, and limit debt to capital investments
  • Introduced legislation to restrict the executive branch’s reckless abuse of the “Message of Necessity”, and ensure that legislators and the public have appropriate time to review legislative proposals.


*Opposed pay raises for all politicians in first year. The Legislature submitted pay raises for themselves prior to budget meetings which shielded their salary adjustments from an executive veto. Byrne vetoed all other pay raises for politicians that had been added by the Legislature. The Legislature overrode Byrne’s veto with the minimum 6 votes required, but Byrne still honored his commitment and did not take a raise in pay in his first budget (2024 Budget).

*To date, the Legislature has failed to act on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights proposal introduced at the March 2023 State of the County.