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Cuomo's Consolidation Push- Dr. Barry Weinstein

Apr 13, 2014|

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It's hard line on news radio 930 WB and good morning this is Dave -- Coming up at twelve noon we've got to Meet the Press they're concentrating a lot of their coverage today. On the Boston Marathon bombings one year ago this coming Tuesday. I didn't wanna look back though it something that happened earlier this week on Thursday Governor Cuomo in town. In Amherst talking a little bit about his budget talking a lot about his property tax cut plan. And talking about what that means local government should do standing by we've got and her supervisor doctor Barry Weinstein will talk more about. How the salt trickles down to the local level a minute. The first I wanted to play his remarks released -- selection of his remarks from Thursday this is governor Andrew Cuomo at the main transit fire hall now we wanna. -- the worst tax in this thing you know of the worst attacks this is the property tax. There's actually more money paid in property tax than income tax and the property taxes not gonna do with the state. Every tax is all local governments and it is bigger -- the income tax and it's what's causing us the problem. And is not only high. We have the highest property taxes in the country. In the country I think what's even worse. Upstate New York. Thirteen of the fifteen. Highest taxed counties. By percentage of home value. Upstate New York. Thirteen out of fifteen. A throwing people are saying I'm leaving I can't afford to be here I can't buy a house I can't pay the mortgage and attacks this is exactly what they're talking about. And they are right. Why do we have such a high property tax we have too many governments we have over 101000. 500. Local governments. Just think about -- every morning you wake up 101500. Light switches 101500. Bureaucracies. -- across the state. Erie county 1000. Local governments one point six billion dollars. Just in infrastructure. Just. The pay the overhead one point six billion dollars. And when you look at what they actually are. It raises questions won't count to three cities weren't for our parents village's school districts. Fire district drainage district fired predict lighting districts. Refuse sewage. Water. 37930. Aren't special districts or 1000. Governments in total 43000. Employees. In Erie county one employee for every 21 county residents. That's. What's driving. The property taxes over 101000 vehicles. Now we thought the problem was. That it was hard to merge. These local governments from a legal point of view when I was attorney general. I spent a lot of time passing a law that made it easier for local governments to merge with -- with each other okay. Question is would pass that law seven years. Later how many local governments. Actually. Merged -- consolidated. Pete Pete Pete he would resign who has a gas. Did. So I have 101500. Why. Because it's too easy government. Just to raise taxes. See in the private sector company has economic pressures you have to have a bottom line. You have to be solvent. You have to show a profit or you're hungry. If you can't pay your goes there's a little concept called bankruptcy. Household same thing you have to live within your paycheck on the phone rings it's a debt collector you have a problem. Government. The costs go up you're very easy answer just raise -- taxes. Just raise the taxes. And we did it. And we did that year after year after year and now we have the highest taxes in the nation and it's actually hurting the state and we have to change. And that's what this proposal is all about it's about using democracy. And giving people information and empowering people to make it differences is how the plan works he'll want. Every homeowner and the state gets a share from the State of New York. 42%. Of their property tax bill. Whatever your property tax -- You're gonna get a check from the state for 2%. One condition. If your local government stays under what's called the property tax cap we -- that property tax cap of 2% of your local government. Stays under that 2%. You get a check from the state. You have to send that you've got a check from the state. If you local government stays on the 2%. With one -- -- we want the local governments to give us a plan. That shows how they saved 1%. Just 1%. A year threw for three years. By coming up with cooperative strategies. To share services. And foreign economies of scale. -- local government says. Our local governments are annoyed with me. They say that I am creating pressure on them to reduce cost. You know what. I'm creating pressure on them to reduce costs I plead -- It's true. Governor Andrew Cuomo from there this weekend. -- let's bring in now Republican Amherst town supervisor doctor Barry Weinstein. Doctor -- take a swing at that. Good morning. Yeah. What he said is a little different than. A what I read in newspapers and he's willing to you 2%. To every. Taxpayer be residents. If they're municipality doesn't raise about the tax cap. I don't have a problem that are all my understanding is that communities like camp which would lower taxes to -- for years. Going to be left out in the cold. But what about in year three where he says you have to come up with some sort of shared services or consolidation plan. Does this mean you knock on Williams field or the Williams -- door and say let's merge here or are I oversimplifying it. I think you're oversimplifying it Whipple had been doing -- list for years. We created a this contract with the -- Israel it's taped in 90000 dollars that he goes to winning half million dollars a year for five years. We've been doing a lot of dissent however lowered expenses 1191000215. Million open -- last couple years. Are you and therefore other towns at the point. Where you can't do more because you're already doing. Well wrote we've already done quite a bit that's not to say we couldn't do. Additional. Efficiencies with the school districts saw -- spoke to and are central to -- recently. We already shared some legal services. How we can do a lot more that than we probably will whether each content providers are not but he should not be incentivizing us to raise taxes. Those municipalities that don't raise taxes. Should have there were there -- should get the same -- is anybody else. What are the obstacles that are out there to the kind of shared services. Or even consolidation that the governor is pushing for. -- that there's a lot of obstacles that are created by -- New York State for instance if you were going to emerge to school districts. -- shall we would oracle up to the highest of anyone in -- -- school districts so that Microsemi administrative savings. But the -- An additional expense for employees and you'll watch out the problem wouldn't be any shape. If you really wanted to shape. Municipalities. The problem is in Albany. It's the unfunded mandates -- -- the local government is something we describe our prevailing wage scaffold. Binding arbitration -- courts and others. At the county level it Medicaid which exceeds the county property tax. At this school level as unfunded mandates elect actually support when I joined the school board in 1982. The state paid 50% in it's day eight of our budget when I left the 1996. They paid almost -- point 2%. The differences to support. In light of those immovable objects do you feel as if you're in a bit of a -- here you've got those on one side and him pushing in on the other. It is -- is very modest in the stands. You want this to say 1%. We've already done that Amber's a truly can do it again. All right doctor Barry thanks for joining us this morning glad you could chime in on all that's. That's doctor Barry Weinstein supervisor of the town of --