two thousand twenty
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By John Addyman

   LYONS – Picture the Wayne County Board of Supervisors, dressed in Twisted Sister garb, locking arms and singing together, tattoos blazing and cascading crimped locks waving:

   “We’re not gonna take it
   No, we ain’t gonna take it
   Oh, we’re not gonna take it anymore.

   We’ve got the right to choose, and
   There ain’t no way we’ll lose it.
   This is our life, this is our song.
   We’ll fight the powers that be
   Just don’t pick our destiny, ‘cause you don’t know us.
   You don’t belong.
   Oh, you’re so condescending, your goal is never-ending.
   We don’t want nothin’, not a thing from you.
   Your life if trite and jaded, boring and confiscated.
   If that’s your best, your best won’t do.
   We’re not gonna take it. No! No, we ain’t gonna take it,
   We’re not gonna take it anymore.”
                        copyright 1984, Dee Snider and Snidest Music, ASCAP

   You get the picture.
   And this morning, in a special presentation and resolution, the board of supervisors proved that it has something to gripe about.
   County Administrator Jim Marquette, Supervisor Bob Plant (Walworth) and retiring Fiscal Manager Keith Kubasik attended a New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) meeting last week and heard a statistic that stopped everyone in their tracks.
   “Nine state mandates consume 90 percent of the county tax levy.”
   Marquette, in his presentation to the board using figures Kubasik researched for Wayne County, said that, indeed 86 percent of the tax levy imposed on Wayne County residents is collected to satisfy state mandates.
   This year, $11.99 million went to Medicaid, $938,932 to Public Assistance/Safety Net, $2.9 million to Special Education/Pre-K, $700,583 to Child Welfare/Protection, $1.6 million for Probation, $649,333 for Early Intervention, $4.4 million for pensions, $163,032 for Youth Detention, $1.4 million for Indigent Defense, and $3.5 million for community college tuition.
   Remove all the mandates, and the county’s expenses are $6.8 million.
   NYSAC feels “fiscal responsibility for services should reside with the level of government that has the decision-making authority for those services.” In other words, “you decree it, you pay for it.”
   The top 16 counties that bear the highest tax burden (per assessed value of a home) are all in New York State. The largest state-imposed property tax, NYSAC says, is Medicaid, which cost $7 billion to counties in 2010.
   Marquette referred to the mandates as “handcuffs put on us when we put together budgets. The state has to take an intelligent approach to this. It’s nice to talk about tax caps, but then don’t say, ‘Oh yeah, but you’ve also got to do all these services.’”
   The resolution unanimously passed by the board cites budget-busting shocks to local municipalities – most recently a 40 percent increase in state retirement system contributions. Those contributions “have grown by over 1,000 percent since 2000 due to generous benefit expansions by the state legislature and governor,” states the resolution.
   “New York counties are owed hundreds of millions of dollars in state reimbursement at any given moment, without providing any compensation for the cost of ‘floating’ cash to the state, and this amount can easily double when the state budget is not adopted on time,” says the resolutions.
   “Whereas, simply capping property taxes does nothing to reduce the costs of these and many other state services that counties must pay for and implement at the local level; in fact, it preserves the distinction of having the highest property taxes in the nation. The property tax cap proposal allows a local board to override the cap with a two-thirds majority vote, thereby not only shifting the costs to local governments, but also unfairly shifting blame to local leaders for tax increases that are actually caused y the state.”
   The supervisors urge the state not to impose a local property tax cap “unless it is coupled with significant cuts in local costs for state-mandated programs that cause local property tax increases.”


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  1. Anonymous Said,

    Mr. Addyman, you forgot one person in your picture of the supervisors singing together. That is the buffoon Holdraker directing them.

    Posted on Wed Oct 20, 07:05:00 AM EDT


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