Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today noted that the governor’s executive budget shifts a number of programs from the state to counties. These programs include non-emergency public assistance, two-parent TANF Families and youth detention facilities. The cost to counties is $83 million with Monroe County now expected to pick up a tab of nearly $5 million under Spitzer’s spending plan.
“Although the governor spoke at length in his State of the State address and his State of Upstate address about the urgent need to lower property taxes, his executive budget, by shifting costs to county governments, may, in fact, force counties to raise property taxes,” said Reilich. “This is unacceptable. With homeowners across the state paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation, now is not the time for the state to be increasing the tax burden.”
Reilich noted that if the governor is having difficulty managing state spending than he should propose a more fiscally sound executive budget, and not one that shifts costs from the state to already beleaguered county governments.
Governor Spitzer’s executive budget increases state spending by $6.02 billion or 5.1 percent, nearly double the rate of inflation and more than the personal income for 2008, a bar the governor set himself.
“The first step the state can make to lower property taxes is to give relief to county governments,” remarked Reilich. “The next step would be to give greater state aid to municipalities, school districts and homeowners through the STAR program. Unfortunately, the governor’s budget does none of these. I will continue to work to address these problems this year and will continue to fight for lower property taxes in Monroe County.”