| || |
Politics And Tax Increases
June 13, 2011 - Dunkirk OBSERVER
Posted by Nicholas L. Dean
Regular, modest property tax increases.
Had such increases been a constant in the last 20 years, the county might not be facing an $18 million deficit.
However, due to the county's current situation, "a series of multiple property tax increases" might be necessary. Those were comments made during a recent special meeting of the Audit and Control Committee.
Audit and Control serves as the finance committee of the County Legislature. Its members recently began holding a second meeting each month, dedicated solely to preparing for the coming 2012 budget.
The transcript of the committee's Thursday, June 2 special meeting is now online.
At one point during the meeting, the county's finance director, Darin Schulz, spoke about politics and tax increases and the last three county executives.
What follows is a portion of what Schulz said at the Thursday, June 2 Audit and Control Committee meeting, taken pretty much as written in the transcript.
I agree that should have happened ever since the beginning.
If we look back to 1990 and we did 1% a year we would be in good shape. Politics play a role and whether it is a Democratic Legislature or a Republican Legislature. They go up and then they go down and it is a rollercoaster.
When Andy Goodell came in he was facing a major deficit and he raised taxes and had a major tax increase. Then every year from that for the next 8 years they just went down and down.
All of a sudden Mark Thomas came in and not only did property taxes go up and he had to raise them 25% and sales tax 25%. So, that was a 50% tax increase. (Cross Talk) Like I said, Mark did a significant job in making county government more efficient.
Greg has done a significant job of making county government more efficient. If you look at how we did things prior to 2003 and how we are doing them today I would be hard pressed to find any businesses that are administratively as efficient as we are.
I am not talking services I am talking administratively. I am running finances at levels in 1997. Who can say they run their Finance Department at 13 years of zero inflation? The HR Department is running at 1999 levels yet they had to take on the City of Jamestown and that is something they weren't doing in 97.
Administratively we are mean and lean. It is the fact of our cost to do business and the cost of providing Medicaid that we have to provide.
Costs go up and taxes have been cut and they shouldn't have been and everyone has done it. But, the fact is it was done and that is water under the bridge.
But, like I said Mark eliminated 100 positions and Greg in this last budget alone eliminated another 69 positions. Yet, we are providing the most services that we have ever provided. I am pretty good at math but I don't see how that equation equals each other or how you provide more services with less money.
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment
County Finance Director Darin Schulz.