When it comes to paying taxes in our area, many area residents will tell you they are too high. But what they will not tell you is that most of your neighbors actually endorse and agree to the higher taxes.
If those neighbors did not, they would vote differently - and the village elections are the perfect example. In Silver Creek, where the village tax rates are the highest in the county, two incumbents, including the mayor, were re-elected.
In Fredonia, a candidate who proposes four budgets with tax cuts as mayor is defeated while the candidate who boosts services wins. "I'd love to cut taxes, but I think quality of services is more important right now than cutting taxes lower than what they are right now," newly elected Mayor Steve Keefe, at right, said.
And just how did we do when it comes to our county government? Our leader - County Executive Greg Edwards - ran on a state lieutenant governor ticket of being "mad as hell" about the high cost of taxes. However, when his election partner Carl Paladino lost, Edwards returned home and actually endorsed raising property taxes by 9 percent. Since the increase, we continue to hear county officials complain about how Albany and New York state owes us something just because we happen to exist.
Topping it off, our highest taxes - the school districts - will continue to climb because no matter how efficient or beneficial to current students in terms of courses and programs, residents will not merge school districts - though the popular vote of the most recent elections show support for the proposals.
So to sum it up, it comes down to this. We will continue to complain about the high taxes. And while we're at it, we'll vote in the people we know will keep raising them.
In the meantime, some of our neighbors will move, which will continue to increase our tax burden.
Many have said Western New York has a defeatist attitude. With votes like these, how will we ever win new jobs or bring in new business?
Raising taxes - no matter how small the amount - is always a defeat.