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Erie County: GOP Plan Cuts Appropriately, Avoids tax Increase

by on December 10, 2008

John Mills, minority leader of the Erie County Legislature, and fellow Republicans Mike Ranzenhofer and Edward A. Rath wrote a piece appearing in yesterday’s Buffalo News about the county budget. 

Last week, the Erie County Legislature Republican minority caucus introduced a budget plan that is fiscally responsible and reduces the size of our government. The goal of our proposed budget amendments is to eliminate the entire $16 million property tax increase, not just a portion of it. At a time when all of the residents of our county are paying some of the highest taxes in the country, and are doing more with less, we demand that our government do the same.

This has been a difficult year and we applaud our colleagues on the other side of the aisle for attempting to craft a plan to avoid some of this year’s proposed tax increase. However, we have a different perspective.

Our plan cuts $8.75 million in non-personnel expenses. A significant savings was derived from utility charges, which we have reduced by 20 percent due to the massive decrease in prices on the fuel and energy markets. Experts predict that this trend will continue.

We have also identified $9.23 million in savings by shrinking government. We believe that the time is now for deeper cuts to the work force. We are not eliminating current employees, but derive massive savings by cutting vacant positions. Taxpayers should not be paying for empty seats.

We do, however, recognize the value of investing in organizations that give taxpayers a high return. Our proposal restored critical funding to Cornell Cooperative Extension and Erie County Soil and Water. These programs bring more than $2 million back to the local economy. Unfortunately, our proposal was quickly discarded in committee.

Read the whole thing.


From → Erie County

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