Pictured, from left, Minetto Town Supervisor Joseph Hawksby, Assemblyman Robert Oaks, Hannibal Town Supervisor Ron Greenleaf, Hannibal Village Mayor Fred Kent, Oswego County Legislator Terry Wilbur and Oswego County Administrator Phil Church at Vona’s Restaurant Jan. 26.
The assemblyman invited representatives to give them an opportunity to hear firsthand about critical issues on the agenda in Albany that will impact localities in the 128th Assembly District. He also wanted the representatives to share their input on mandates that should be targeted for relief as part of the 2011-12 state budget.
Assemblyman Oaks said, with the idea of reform gaining traction in Albany, “this might be our one bite at the apple” for a chance to make significant changes.
The local representatives were emphatic that a property tax cap should only be considered if it is accompanied by a cap on state mandates. Without help with existing mandates and a mandate cap for the future, municipalities will be faced with costs they can’t shift, especially if there are state funding cuts to localities.
Ninety percent of Oswego County’s $35 million tax levy covers just nine state-mandated programs. Additionally, it takes a percentage of the county’s sales tax to pay for the others.
Oaks said he would keep representatives apprised as details of the state budget begin to be released next week.