New York State government shifting tax burden to countiesSubmitted by Retrocon on Tue, 04/01/2008 - 09:38
This is a lengthy post, forwarded to me by my father who lives in the state of New York. I am posting this for any other New York folks out there, and also for general reading as it is relevant both to the poor state of the economy and to what people in other states may expect in the future. This is from the Chautauqua County Executive, so it is straight from the horse's mouth so to speak. I've already emailed the governor, the comptroller, and my state senator. Next on the list is my state representative after which I might start making phone calls. Thankfully this doesn't impact me yet as I'm a non-resident resident of NY on active duty. I don't think that I will return to NYS once my military career ends...this type of tomfoolery pretty much guarantees that. I will also paste the body of my email after the article.
STATE BUDGET: SHIFT & SHAFT TO PROPERTY TAX-PAYERS
Last night, I received a call from Albany that Chautauqua County, along with every other county in New York State, was going to be forced with a property tax increase as a result of the State shifting taxes onto the counties. These tax shifts come with no reduction in state mandates. If the state budget passes in its current form it assures the tax payers of Chautauqua County that their property taxes are going to increase next year.
Previously, I could not have imagined the level of hypocrisy that is being displayed in Albany . While the Governors, both Spitzer and Paterson, have been proclaiming that famous no new taxes line, and State representatives across the State have been saying there is nothing they can do; New York State is telling your County to do the dirty work for them.
Everyone, from the Governor to the Senators and Assemblymen all have come to the consensus that the economy is in trouble and that aggressive steps need to be taken. However, the aggressive steps that are proposed in Albany is to order Chautauqua County taxpayers to pay the State's bills so state elected officials can wash their hands and claim they had no part in the killing of our economy and our jobs, thereby driving our children and our families out of New York .
What is Albany up to? They began by telling Chautauqua County that we had to pay more for their social welfare programs, and their obligation to care for children in detention and other expenses. This was bad enough since it came with a bill of about $800,000.00 to the taxpayers of Chautauqua County . Now the State is ordering us to continue to do their work. They are reducing even further the funding they send the County to run their programs. This is not a cut in spending by Albany , this is just a mandate for us to pay more, and send you, the property tax payers, the bill so they can claim no new taxes.
At 11:00 am Friday I was on a conference call with the County Leaders who represent 85% of all of the population in New York State , and at least 85% of the property taxes levied in New York . The unanimous opinion of these leaders when talking with the press was that this hypocrisy cannot be allowed. We were going to take this issue to the people that matter, the tax payers. LISTEN TO ENTIRE CONFERENCE CALL BY CLICKING HERE.
We all agreed that spending needs to be cut. Now, the State should follow the example of the Counties across the state, such as Chautauqua County , where we cut spending and became more efficient to deliver a property tax cut and sales tax cuts. However, we cannot reduce spending and then have the state tell us to absorb more of their costs for their obligations to the people of this state.
Now is the time for the Governor, the Senate and the Assembly to represent the people who elected them to office and cut spending, stop the hiring frenzy in Albany, and own up to the decisions they are making that raise your taxes. Albany has increased spending last year, and as presented this year, is twice the rate of inflation.
Do not be mislead, the Cities are receiving more, not less, state funding. They are promised a 7% increase in funding, so you will hear the Mayors proclaiming the virtues of this budget. But, it is the Counties who deliver the State's programs for the indigent, elderly, disadvantaged, and young. It is the Counties who make sure that your food is safe, the places you eat are sanitary, that your water is safe, and waste water is properly disposed.
Unfunded mandates result in higher property taxes, and Counties in New York already have the distinction of being among the highest property tax payers in the Country. But an insidious shift has been taking place. Over the last few years New York State has been dropping in rank as the highest taxed state, because Counties have been given the order from the State to take your property taxes to pay their bill. Now, New York's local governments have the highest taxes of any local governments in the country. Because the State has passed the burden in the form of mandates onto counties, without stepping up to address the problem.
This is no different than your employer telling you that you and your family are going to go to dinner with his family. You expect that you are going to each pay for your own family. As a result, he and his family are eating steak, you and your family order hot dogs. When the bill comes your boss tells you that you are going to pay for his family and by the way, they are going to order dessert, how about you?
The only way this abuse is going to end is for all of the Property Tax Payers in the State to demand better from our elected officials at the State level. As County Executives we are investigating any and all legal methods to deliver this message and to make the State liable for their own bills. We cannot do this alone. I need your help and I ask that you call the Governor at (518)-474-8390, and e-mail him at www.ny.gov . Scroll to bottom of that page click on contact us, and then click on contact the Governor, and contact your State Senator and Assemblyman to tell them that you are not going to pay higher property taxes to cover the State's dinners any longer.
Today tax payers have greater access and more impact. If the people who pay the bills for the State with their hard earned dollars will call and e-mail, the Governor and their State Representatives, tax payers like you and me can impact on what the future of our State will be.
I'm an active duty Air Force non-commissioned officer stationed in Maryland. I'm currently a non-resident resident of New York State. I grew up in Western NY, and my parents still live in that area. My father forwarded an email from a Chautauqua County Executive detailing the state government's plans to shift the tax burden from the state to the counties. This appears to be nothing but political gamesmanship from the top levels of the state government on down. The state's senators and governor claim that they haven't raised taxes while the county property taxes skyrocket, taking more hard earned money away from hard working people living outside of New York City and spending it on those living in the city. This is absolutely unacceptable and unless something is done to reverse this trend, those who have been elected to represent We the People of New York should be driven out of office in shame. I assure you that not only will I elect not to return to the once great state of New York once I complete military career, I will also do my utmost to help drive real change in this state. These taxes are an onerous burden on the people and they are responsible for killing businesses and driving families out and into states such as North Carolina. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and work to rectify this injustice.
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!