State small part of woes

Beware, taxpayers, when you hear a municipality or a school district has to raise taxes due to the “state retirement” obligations.

Villages, including Brocton, Fredonia and Silver Creek, are in the process of doing their annual plans, which begin on June 1. Fredonia has just reached an agreeement – that includes pay raises with its CSEA employees – and Brocton has a 2 percent pay hike included for its workers in the coming budget.

But officials in these communities are quick to point blame on the rising costs on the state.

For the record, the state is not forcing Fredonia or Brocton to increase employee pay. When employee pay is increased by village officials, it ultimately increases the amount of money that needs to be set aside for pensions.

For Brocton to say there is a 21 percent increase in the state retirement line, that is likely true. But also do not forget, in a recent study, Brocton was found to have the highest average wages in Western New York for villages.

That makes the village entity a large contributor to the “state retirement” problem.