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Brooks proposes $1.2 billion budget for 2013 

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks has proposed a $1.2 billion budget for 2013 that she says makes no significant changes to county programs or services. She presented her budget proposal tonight before a meeting of the County Legislature.

The budget increases the cost of zoo admissions by about $1, and also raises the amount taxpayers are charged to fund Monroe Community College. The property tax rate would remain $8.99 per $1,000 of assessed value. Brooks has pledged to never raise the tax rate.

During her brief address tonight, Brooks touted an "unprecedented reduction" in the county's structural deficit. She blamed state and federal mandates for the recurring deficit. County officials estimated the 2013 gap at $48.1 million.

Factoring into the reduction: an estimated $3 million left over from the 2012 budget, and $5 million in employee health-care cost savings. The budget also includes plans to sell unused county-owned buildings and $30 million worth of tax liens.

The budget also calls for eliminating 20 positions, most of which are vacant, Brooks said.

Democratic Legislator Carrie Andrews said that tonight was the first time members of her caucus saw the budget proposal.

"Before we look into it it's tough to say what's there," she said.

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