Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus delivered his State of the County address to a large audience on Wednesday and highlighted the county’s accomplishments, including reduced tax rates, a growing sales tax base, and more jobs.
Neuhaus was introduced by Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton, who is retiring this year after 21 years of service. The State of the County was held on Wednesday at the Emergency Services Center auditorium. Neuhaus again delivered the State of the County address yesterday at the Orange County Chamber of Commerce meeting.
“I was proud to highlight some of my administration’s accomplishments during the address,” Neuhaus said. “Orange County has reduced the County tax rate, grown the sales tax base, worked with the private sector to create innovative jobs, and effectively partnered with local governments on a variety of important initiatives. The State of our County is strong and I look forward to continuing to work hard for our residents.”
Neuhaus plans to continue his focus on economic development and tourism, and public safety, as well as working to strengthen the County’s infrastructure.
“It has been a pleasure to partner with County Executive Neuhaus to continue to address responsible economic development, to enhance quality of life and to expand services for residents,” Chairwoman of the Orange County Legislature Katie Bonelli said. “Orange County’s financial outlook is string, and the lower property tax is a great benefit to residents. The Legislature and I look forward to maintaining our positive partnership with County Executive Neuhaus.”
Other accomplishments highlighted in the State of the County address include:
- The County tax rate has dropped seven consecutive years and is currently $2.7 in 2023, the lowest since at least 1964.
- The property tax rate has decreased 29 percent since 2014.
- The County’s unaudited fund balance was $206.7 million in 2022 (an increase of $89 million). The County’s fund balance was $21.1 million in 2013.
- The County realized $6.3 million in hotel/motel tax in 2022.
- The County generated $381 million in sales tax in 2022.
- The County shared $100 million in sales tax revenue with municipalities in 2022. Since 2014, $703 million has been shared.
- The County held its first Economic Summit in 2022 and is in the planning stages for this year’s event.
New initiatives announced by Neuhaus included:
- Orange County’s Emergency Services Department will continue to promote its free CPR clinics and collaborate with interested local schools for training.
- The County Clerk’s Office introduced a new mobile DMV for residents. All onsite DMV transactions, passport applications, and notary services are available.
- The Health Department’s new mobile unit will travel throughout the County, offering testing, immunizations, health screenings, and outreach.
- The County is conducting a feasibility study to determine the feasibility of a Conference Center here.
- Four new pickleball courts are coming to Thomas Bull Memorial Park this spring.