Broome County Executive Jason Garnar has submitted a $375 million spending plan to the legislature.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar during a radio interview on September 7, 2017. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The 2018 budget proposal calls for a property tax rate increase of 1.84 percent. The package is about $5 million higher than the budget proposed a year ago by Garnar's predecessor, Debra Preston.

Garnar made his first budget address to county lawmakers Thursday afternoon.

The county executive said his proposal would eliminate funding for 18 more positions in the coming year. That would result in 49 unfunded positions next year.

Garnar described the county financial situation when he took office in January as a "mess." He noted at the end of last year, Broome County's unreserved fund balance had plunged to $250,000. He said that compared to a balance of $5.5 million one year earlier.

The county executive said a hiring freeze he imposed has saved the $350,000 in salaries and benefits.

Legislators will hold a series of budget review sessions before deciding on possible changes to Garnar's spending plan.

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