Johns, Monroe County Executive Brooks Fight For Unfunded Mandate, Property Tax Relief

June 20, 2011

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C-Webster) discuss his mandate relief legislation.

Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C-Webster) and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks joined together in Albany today to advocate for unfunded mandate relief for local governments and school districts. The assemblyman is sponsoring legislation that will effectively reform unfunded mandates in the state to provide property tax relief for homeowners and small businesses.

“It’s important that Albany understands that without mandate relief a property tax cap will not be able to reduce the costs behind the rampantly growing tax levies,” said Johns. “County Executive Maggie Brooks does an amazing job at managing the county’s budget, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of the budget is dictated by Albany politicians. I look forward to passing mandate relief and a property tax cap so we can finally provide real property tax relief to taxpayers.”

Johns said that Brooks and he have had many conversations regarding unfunded mandates. About 82 percent of the county’s budget can be attributed to spending related to unfunded mandates. Nearly 100 percent of the current tax levy increases were tied to the rising costs of unfunded mandates, especially Medicaid, which saw incredible increases in the last few years. Monroe County has the highest property taxes in the nation as a percentage of home values.

Johns’ bill would impose a spending cap, which would be less than the rate of inflation, to help curb spending on programs that have grown at a pace far greater than inflation. The legislation also would put an immediate moratorium on mandates that cost more than $10,000 locally, or $1 million statewide.