Giglio: Governor Increases County Tax Burden
Executive Budget would shift $83 million in costs onto county governments

Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R,I,C-Gowanda) today expressed concern with the governor's proposal to shift the cost of a number of programs from the state to local governments. The programs include non-emergency public assistance, two-parent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and youth detention facilities at a cost of $83 million.

"The governor proposed a number of initiatives to balance the budget and offset a $6 billion spending increase," said Giglio. "Among my top concerns is the governor's decision to force local governments to pick up the tab for an additional $83 million in costs. Property taxes throughout the state continue to rise, and it is time for real reform that can provide homeowners with meaningful tax relief. Unfortunately, this ill-advised plan does neither."

Under the governor's executive budget, the county share of the cost of non-emergency public assistance would increase by 2 percent to 52 percent, despite the state and local governments equally sharing the cost of benefits. In addition, in order to adhere to new federal work participation requirements, the adopted 2006-2007 budget shifted two parent families receiving TANF public assistance to the Safety Net program, generating $15 million in Federal TANF savings that were split equally between the state and the counties. The governor's plan would allow the state to keep the counties' $7.5 million share of the savings. Lastly, the state would mandate that 100 percent of the costs to detain non-violent youths awaiting trial before family court be paid by local governments.

"The governor's plan would force Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties to assume over $500,000 in additional spending," said Giglio. "With the state facing a $4.5 billion deficit and an economic downturn on the horizon, we need to take a pro-active approach to reduce the property tax burden that has limited homeownership and impeded business growth, not place additional strain on local governments."

County Public Assistance Shift Two-Parent Family Shift Detention Cost Shift Total Impact
Allegany $36,566 $9,000 $30,000 $75,566
Cattaraugus $40,394 $8,813 $130,000 $179,207
Chautauqua $184,762 $42,563 $24,000 $251,324