Oneida County ended the 2018 fiscal year in the black.

County Executive Anthony Picente and Comptroller Joe Timpano say the county finished the year with a $413,000 operating surplus which resulted in a budget surplus of $9.7 million.

Picente says the Social Services and Public Health Departments, which account for more than 50 percent of the general fund, were $3.3 million under budget and sales tax and Oneida Nation gaming revenue exceeded budget expectations by over $5 million contributed to the surpluses.

“Strong, conservative policies have created a foundation that allows us to invest in our community and grow our tax base,” said Picente.  “The three national credit agencies have once again affirmed our conservative approach by maintaining our stellar credit ratings.”

Fitch again rated Oneida County AA for 2019, while Standard and Poors repeated its AA- rating and Moody’s reaffirmed its A1 status.

“Maintaining our high credit ratings with these agencies helps to sustain our bonding costs at manageable levels without experiencing huge fluctuations in our debt service payments,” said Timpano.

Former Oneida County Legislator and current Republican candidate for Oneida County Executive David Gordon is blasting Picente for his assertion that the county had a 2018 budgetary surplus.

Gordon says you don't really have a budget surplus when you bond for tens of millions of dollars on the backs of taxpayers year in and year out.

This is more of a political Ponzi scheme. When the money runs out and you can’t pay back your debt, the whole bottom falls out. Another four years of this and the bottom is sure to fall out,” said Gordon

He also says Picente has bonded for more money than the last five County Executives combined.

Gordon said in a few weeks he will be issuing his 2021 budget proposal which would include reducing property taxes by 5% over the course of 4 consecutive years for a total reduction of 20% and reducing the sales tax by .5% to 8.25%.