COUNTY: This is when legislators work

Chautauqua County Legislator Terry Niebel of Sheridan made some interesting points in a commentary on Sunday regarding the status of the proposed 2018 budget. He believes that legislators owe constituents a tax cut.

We agree.

To be honest, we were a bit disappointed with the proposal by outgoing County Executive Vince Horrigan, which targeted a county tax increase. Since that time, members of the Audit and Control Committee have whittled the spending down to about a 3-cent decrease from this year per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

“As a County Legislature, we need to demonstrate our commitment to controlling taxes,” Niebel wrote Sunday. “Even a slight increase is unacceptable.”

Legislators added to their revenue coffers two years ago by upping the sales tax. This past year, they willingly gave away $100,000 to the chautauqua Lake Association with few details on how that would be spent over the summer. They also almost always agree to every salary increase for county workers that comes before them — no questions asked.

There’s a consequence to every action, but shifting it to the taxpayer erases some of the good work by this group in recent years.