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Taxes are going up

June 3, 2011 - John D'Agostino
Lots of problems, but no solid solutions.

That is what the 90 people in attendance for this morning’s Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce breakfast heard from County Executive Greg Edwards.

Edwards took more than half of his 60 minutes of speaking time to ramble on about all the obstacles the state has put in front of Chautauqua County. Medicaid, pension costs, no sales tax assistance. We had heard it all before.

He also outlined in a fact sheet how the county tax rate is lower today than it was when he took office. The lower rate, however, does not take the sting away from a 9 percent tax hike this year in county taxes alone. And while he came loaded with data on mandates, county expenses and how many full-time equivalent employees work for the county — 1,104 people — he came with few answers.

He said the county will be slimmer and leaner — but no explanation at how he will reach that level.

The only conclusion I can draw from the discussion this morning — with seven months left in 2011 — is taxes are going up in Chautauqua County in 2012. We hope it is not 10 percent, but with the few answers heard this morning, that seems to be the likely target once again.

The writing is on the wall, even if Edwards’ presentation did depend on a Power Point.

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