Thursday, August 05, 2010
Monticello — 5:00 PM — The Sullivan County Legislature held a Special Meeting today to adopt resolutions urging reform by the State Government. A resolution that was unanimously adopted by those legislators present, urges the State of New York to eliminate the unfunded mandates and reduce the underfunded mandates that cause County property tax increases in conjunction with imposing a cap on County property taxes. Another resolution urges the State to take over State mandated programs and services that are funded by County property taxes.
“At a time when the State Legislature is considering imposing a property tax cap on Counties, they should first eliminate the unfunded State mandates that drive County property taxes,” said Jonathan F. Rouis, Chairman of the Legislature. “All elected officials support reducing property taxes, but that is impossible when 75% to 85% of the County budget expenses are mandated by the State Government,” added Rouis.
New York State is one of only two states in the country that burden County property taxpayers by requiring a County share of the cost of the State Medicaid program. In 2011, the State Medicaid program will cost Sullivan County nearly $20 million. That same $20 million could be used to reduce County property taxes, or funded other vital services, such as Public Works and Public Safety.
The State should either fully fund their mandated programs, or take over those programs with the full financial responsibility for same. “There must be a commitment for a comprehensive reform of New York State Medicaid benefit levels, as it is reported that the State of New York spends more per Medicaid recipient than the States of California and Texas combined,” concluded Rouis.
(Read resolutions 393-10 & 394-10 here)
For more information, please contact David Fanslau, 845-807-0450