Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 23, 2013

County signs off on NCCC budget

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The county Legislature this week voted to approve Niagara County Community College's proposed $49.1 million 2013-14 budget.

The budget includes a line showing the county's required annual contribution to "maintenance," $8.8 million. The subsidy is the same going into 2013-14 as it's been the last seven years.

Lawmakers' unanimous vote to adopt the NCCC spending plan followed a public hearing at which no resident spoke for or against the contents.

The budget calls for a 2.6 percent or $96 per semester increase in tuition charged to Niagara County residents, to $3,792 per year. It also calls for a net reduction of three employee positions, and increased investment in computer- and instruction-related equipment.

Also Tuesday, lawmakers OK'd the county's official request for the state's permission to charge a "Medicaid penny," or an extra 1 percent sales tax on purchases countywide, for another two years, from Dec. 1 through Nov. 30, 2015.

The state sales tax is 4 percent and New York counties are pre-authorized to charge and collect up to 3 percent more. Niagara County has had permission to charge 4 percent more since 2003, with the understanding that the extra 1 percent is banked to help pay the county's share of residents' monthly Medicaid costs.

The county's anticipated 2013 Medicaid tab is $47.2 million. In 2012, the Medicaid penny raised about $24 million toward the tab.

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