Consolidated¹ Albany County Charter
||Oversight of County Financial Affairs.
||Preparation of the executive budget submission..
||Legislative Action on executive budget submission.
||Executive vetoes and legislative overrides.
||Supplemental and emergency appropriations.
||Reduction and transfer of appropriations after adoption of budget.
||Legislative action on capital budget.
||Lapse of appropriations.
||Performance of acts; scheduling.
Section 601. Oversight of Financial Affairs. Oversight of the financial affairs of the County government shall reside in the County Legislature, which may, at any time, cause an examination and audit of the books, records and papers pertaining to the money, funds or other property belonging to the County, or over which the County shall have control.
Section 602. Fiscal year. The fiscal year of the County shall be the calendar year.
Section 603. Preparation of the Tentative Annual Budget.
(a) Preparation. A Tentative Annual Budget shall be prepared by the County Executive, or by the Commissioner of Department of Management and Budget, or such other officer as may be appointed by the County Executive, on behalf of the County Executive.
(b) Department requests. On or before July lst, each Administrative Unit Head shall submit to the County Executive and County Legislature estimates of revenues and appropriations required for their respective Administrative Unit for the ensuing year, including such estimates for contractual agencies funded through each Administrative Unit, with the cooperation of such contractual agencies. In the event any Administrative Unit Head fails to submit an estimate by July lst, the Commissioner of Department of Management and Budget shall prepare an estimate for that Administrative Unit.
(c) Review of requests. The Commissioner of Department of Management and Budget, upon receipt of the estimates of each of the Administrative Units, shall proceed to review such estimates with the heads of the Administrative Units and contractual agencies as the Commissioner of the Department of Management and Budget deems necessary. Officers or employees of the various Departments shall furnish data and information and answer inquiries pertinent to such review. The Audit and Finance Committee of the County legislature shall be entitled to the information developed by the various Administrative Units.
(d) Elements of the Tentative Annual Budget. Upon completion of her review, the Commissioner of Department of Management and Budget shall prepare the Tentative Annual Budget for the County Executive, which shall be filed with the Clerk on or before October 10th. Upon such filing, the Tentative Annual Budget submission shall become a public record in the office of the Clerk, and copies of it shall be made available by the Clerk for distribution. Elements of the Tentative Annual Budget submission shall be in compliance with the provisions of County law and include such material as the County Executive deems desirable, or the County Legislature may require. In addition, such submission shall include, but not be limited to:
(i) A budget message. The County Executive's Tentative Annual Budget shall explain the budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of the work programs. It shall outline the proposed financial plans of the County for both the current and ensuing fiscal year, describe the important features of the budget, provide aggregate figures for, indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, appropriations and revenues, together with the reasons for such changes, and summarize the County's debt position.
(ii) A maintenance and operations budget. The maintenance and operations budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all County funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year and, except as required by applicable law or this Charter, shall be in such form as the County Executive deems desirable or the County Legislature may require. Such budget shall begin with a clear general summary of its contents, show in reasonable detail all estimated revenues, and indicate the proposed property tax levy and all proposed appropriations, including debt service for the ensuing fiscal year. It shall be arranged so as to demonstrate revenues and appropriations for each fund, account, and Administrative Unit by item, including but not limited to, a description of each item, the previous year appropriations or revenues, the current year amount appropriated as amended to date, the ensuing year's amounts requested by Administrative Units and the ensuing year amounts proposed by the County Executive. It shall indicate in separate Sections:
(x) the proposed objectives and appropriations for current operations during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed for each fund by Administrative Unit, program, purpose or activity, and the method of financing such appropriations; and
(y) the estimated revenues and appropriations and appropriated fund balances for the ensuing year for each fund operated by the County. For any fund, the total of proposed appropriations shall not exceed the total of estimated revenues, plus appropriated fund balances.
(iii) A Capital Budget. The Capital Budget shall include the proposed capital expenditures, detailed for each fund, account, Administrative Unit item and the proposed method of financing each such expenditure. No capital expenditures for construction, reconstruction or acquisition of major Capital Projects or significant repairs, improvements or expansions, as defined in Section 608 of this Charter shall be proposed unless included in the Capital Program pursuant to Section 608 of this Article.
(iv) A Legislative Operational Budget. The Legislative Operational Budget shall include an estimate of appropriations required by the County Legislature for its operations, as submitted to the County Executive by the Clerk or such other officer or employee designated by the Chairperson no later than August 1st.
(v) Proposed local laws, resolutions or other ordinances. The County Executive shall propose any local laws, resolutions or other ordinances which may be required to implement the budget including, but not limited to, such actions as authorizing the property tax levy, authorizing or amending other new or existing revenue sources or to restructure Administrative Units to carry out the purposes of the budget.
Section 604. County Legislative action on budget.
(a) First Public Hearing. Not later than October 20th, the Clerk shall cause to be published in the official newspapers, and such other newspapers as may be designated by the County Legislature, a notice of the place and time (not less than five days after such publication, nor later than October 30th) at which the County Legislature will hold a public hearing on the Tentative Annual Budget as submitted by the County Executive.
(b) Legislative Budget Report. The Audit and Finance Committee (or other such committees as may be designated by the Chairperson) may also hold public hearings or meetings with the heads of the Departments and contractual agencies, as such committees deem necessary, to prepare the proposed Legislative Budget report containing proposed additions and deletions to the Tentative Annual Budget submitted by the County Executive. The Legislative Budget Report shall be filed with the Clerk no later than November 20th.
(c) Second Public Hearing. Not later than November 20th, the Clerk shall cause to be published in the official newspapers, and such other newspapers as may be required by the County Legislature, a notice of the place and time, (not less than five days after such publication, nor later than December 1st) at which the County Legislature will hold a public hearing on the proposed legislative additions and/or deletions to the Tentative Annual Budget.
(d) Adoption of budget.
(i) After the conclusion of the public hearings, but in no event later than the December 8th, the Chairperson shall convene a regular or special meeting of the County Legislature to consider the Tentative Annual Budget and proposed legislative additions and/or deletions if any, for the ensuing year. The County Legislature may strike items from the Tentative Annual Budget appropriations or anticipated revenues from proposed maintenance and operation, capital and legislative budgets or reduce items therein, except appropriations required by law or for debt service. The County Legislature may add items to or increase items in such budget, provided that such additions or increases are stated separately and distinctly. Decreases or deletions shall not require County Executive approval nor be subject to County Executive veto. Capital appropriations for construction, reconstruction or acquisition of major capital projects or significant repairs, improvements or expansion thereto, as defined in Section 608 of this Article, shall not be adopted unless included in the Capital Program pursuant to Section 608 of this Article, or by an amendment thereto.
(ii) If the Tentative Annual Budget, as submitted by the County Executive, is adopted by the resolution of the County Legislature with no changes, or with decreases or deletions as the only changes thereto, such budget shall be deemed to have been adopted as the Final Annual Budget without any further action by the County Executive. If the budget as adopted by the County Legislature contains any additions or increases, however, that budget shall be presented by
the Clerk to the County Executive, not later than December 8th, for her examination and consideration.
(x) If the County Executive approves all such additions and increases, she shall affix her signature to a statement to that effect and return the Tentative Annual Budget together with such statement to the Clerk, and the budget, together with such additions and increases, shall then be deemed adopted as the Final Annual Budget.
(y) If the Tentative Annual Budget, with additions or increases, is not returned by the County Executive to the Clerk with her objection, if any, on or before 10:00 A.M. on December 12th, it shall be deemed adopted as the Final Annual Budget.
(iii) If the County Executive objects to any one or more of such added or increased items pursuant to this Section, she shall attach to the budget a statement of the added or increased items to which she objects, setting forth her reason therefore and shall, not later than December 12th by 10:00 A.M., return the Tentative Annual Budget with her objections to the Clerk, who shall present such Tentative Annual Budget to the County Legislature at a meeting to be held no later than December 16th. The County Legislature shall thereupon enter the objections upon its journal and proceed to reconsider the additions and increases to which objection is made by the County Executive. If, upon such reconsideration, two thirds of the Whole Number of the County Legislature vote to approve such additions and increases, or any of them, the budget, with the additions and increases so approved, together with any additions and increases not so objected to by the County Executive, shall be deemed adopted. If the County legislature fails to act on or override such objections by a two thirds' vote on or before December 18th, the objections and the budget shall become final and be deemed adopted, without the additions and increases objected to by the County Executive.
(iv) If the budget has not been adopted as herein provided on or before December 20th, then the Tentative Annual Budget, plus all deletions, additions and increases to which the County Executive has failed to object, shall constitute the Final Annual Budget for the ensuing fiscal year.
(v) Certification and availability. Four copies of the Final Annual Budget as adopted, shall be certified by the County Executive and the Clerk, and one each of such copies shall be filed in the office of the County Executive, the office of the Comptroller, the office of the Director of Finance and the office of the Clerk. The Final Annual Budget as so certified shall be a public record and be printed or otherwise reproduced and copies shall be made available to the public at suitable places in the County.
Section 605. Levy of taxes; inclusion of reserve for uncollected taxes. The net County tax requirement, determined by subtracting the total estimated revenues from the total proposed appropriations as set forth in the adopted Final Annual Budget, shall be levied in advance by the County Legislature on the taxable real property of the several tax districts of the county. The taxes so levied shall include an amount to be known as of reserve for uncollected taxes" which shall be a county charge. The County Legislature shall fix such an amount as it may deem sufficient to produce in cash form the collection of taxes and other revenues during the year monies required to meet the estimated appropriations of such year, provided that such reserve for uncollected taxes shall not be less than the face amount of unpaid taxes for the preceding completed fiscal year. The amount of all taxes, special ad valorem levies and special assessments levied upon any parcel of real property by the County Legislature shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be and become a lien thereon as of January 1st of the fiscal year for which levied, and shall remain a lien until paid.
Section 606. Supplemental emergency appropriations.
(a) Recommendation and adoption. If during any fiscal year there are available (i) revenues received from sources not anticipated in the budget for that year or (ii) revenues received from anticipated sources but in excess of the budget estimates therefore, the County Legislature may, upon the written, request of the County Executive, or upon its own initiative make supplemental appropriations to meet a public emergency affecting life, health or property. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the County Legislature may authorize the issuance of obligations pursuant to the Local Finance Law.
(b) Executive vetoes and legislative overrides. If the County Executive approves such supplemental appropriations, she shall affix her signature to a statement to that effect and return the resolution to the Clerk, and it shall then be deemed adopted. If the County Executive objects to such appropriation, she shall append to such resolution a statement setting forth the reason therefor and return it to the Clerk. The County legislature shall thereupon enter the objections upon its journal and proceed, should it so desire, to reconsider the appropriation to which objection is made by the County Executive. If upon reconsideration, two thirds of the Whole Number of the County legislature votes to approve such transfer, the resolution shall be deemed adopted. If the County Legislature fails to act on or override such objections by two thirds of the County Legislature, the objections shall become final, and the resolution without the transfers objected to shall be deemed adopted.
Section 607. Reduction and transfer of appropriations after budget adoption.
(a) If, at any time during the fiscal year, it appears that a deficit exists, or is likely to exist in any budget classification, the County Executive shall report to the County Legislature without delay the estimated amount of the deficit, any remedial action taken by her, and her recommendations as to further action. The County Legislature shall take such action as it deems necessary to prevent or minimize any deficit. For this purpose, the County Legislature may by resolution reduce one or more appropriations, but no appropriation for debt service may be reduced and no appropriation may be by more than the unencumbered balance thereof or below any amount required by law to be appropriated. The County Legislature may, if it so determines, borrow temporarily pursuant to the Local Finance Law in an amount not greater than such deficit for such purpose.
(b) The County Executive may, at any time during the fiscal year, transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balance between classifications of expenditures within the same Administrative Unit, provided that prior approval by resolution of the County Legislature shall be required if the proposed transfer (i) would result in an increase exceeding $10,000.00 annually, during the fiscal year in any one line item in the budget as adopted, (ii) would affect any salary rate or salary total except as expressly permitted by this Charter or the Administrative Code, (iii) would represent an annual total of greater than 5% of the appropriation total for a given Administrative Unit, or (iv) would transfer funds between Administrative Units. Upon written request by the County Executive, or upon resolution adopted on its own initiative, the County Legislature may immediately transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balance from one Administrative Unit to another provided that no such transfer shall be made from appropriations for debt service and no appropriation shall be reduced below any amount required by law to be appropriated. If the County Executive approves such transfer, she shall affix her signature to a statement to that effect and return the resolution to the Clerk of the County Legislature, and such resolution shall be deemed adopted. If the resolution is not returned by the County Executive within four days of its receipt, it shall be deemed adopted. If the County Executive objects to such transfer, she shall attach a statement to the resolution setting forth the reasons for her objection and return the resolution to the Clerk of the County Legislature. The County Legislature thereupon shall enter the objections upon its journal and proceed, should it so desire, to reconsider the transfers to which objection is made by the County Executive. If upon such reconsideration, two thirds of its Whole Number votes to approve such transfer, the resolution shall be deemed adopted. If the County Legislature fails to act on or override such objections by two thirds of its Whole Number, the objections shall become final and the resolution, without the transfers objected to, shall be deemed adopted.
(c) A monthly report of all transfers of unencumbered appropriation balances between classification of expenditures within the same Administrative Unit shall be filed with the County Legislature by the County Executive.
Section 608. Capital Program. All Capital Projects of the County shall be included in a Capital Program.
Submission to County Legislature. The County Executive shall prepare and submit to the County Legislature a five year Capital Program no later than July 1st. The Capital Program shall include:
(a) a clear summary of its contents;
(b) a list of all capital improvements and other capital expenditures proposed to be undertaken during the next five fiscal years, with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for each;
(c) cost estimates and recommended time schedules for each capital improvement and other capital expenditure;
(d) the method of financing for each capital expenditure and capital improvement;
(e) the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired; and
(f) identification of (1) those portions of the Capital Program for the construction, reconstruction or acquisition of major capital projects. A "major capital project" shall be defined as (i) a building, capital facility or system comprising a component of the general fixed assets of the County which has a replacement cost of at least $250,000.00 and has a period of probable usefulness of at least 6 years, and (ii) any significant repairs, improvements or expansions to new or existing capital assets of the County, which have a cost of at least $250,000.00.
The above shall be revised and extended each year with regards to Capital Improvements still pending or in the process of construction or acquisition.
Section 609. Legislative action on Capital Program.
(a) Notice and hearing. The County Legislature shall publish in the official newspapers, and such other newspapers as it may designate, a summary of the Capital Program, and a notice stating:
(i) the times and places where copies of the Capital Program are available for inspection by the public; and
(ii) the time and place (which shall be not less than two weeks after such publication) for a public hearing on the Capital Program.
(b) Adoption. The County legislature shall adopt by resolution the Capital Program, with or without amendment after the public hearing, and on or before September 1st.
Section 610. Lapse of appropriation. Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until expended, revised or repealed; the purpose of any such appropriation shall be deemed abandoned if three years pass without any disbursement from or encumbrance of the appropriation.
Section 611. Performance of acts; scheduling. The scheduling as the performance of an act may be changed by an Administrative Code if adopted by the County Legislature.
¹Please Note: This document is a consolidation of relevant local laws. It has not been adopted in this format.
Consolidated Albany County Charter
The complete Consolidated Albany County Charter** is available for download in PDF* format.
CLICK HERE to open County Charter in PDF format [100Kb]
**Please Note: This document is a consolidation of relevant local laws. It has not been adopted in this format.