Gone Baby Gone
Things look quite bleak for the city given the minimum 10% county tax increase with an albeit now remote upside potential of 21.6%.
Back in June, the following was asserted in a Recorder editorial on the city’s 3% tax cap:
Our tax rate is already sky high. Taking the cap off will make it easy to fix the budget, but any hopes for the city’s future will be gone – existing home owners will leave in droves.
As I argued then, if you follow the economic argument of the editorial, you must apply the same rationale to school and county tax rates as well. If I normalize the 10% county tax rate to the city tax rate, I quickly calculate that a 10% county tax increase is equivalent to a (17.95/14.23)*10% or a 12.6% increase in city taxes.
By this standard, our fair city is toast if this county tax rate increase passes as it blows right past our 3% tax limit threshold.
If so, then it is without question essential to keep the county tax rate at 2.4% or less which is the equivalent of a 3% increase in the city tax rate.
So, my question in light of that realization, is how can you support the OFA program at $400K per year given the disastrous effects on the city? Or put another way: how do you support OFA and seniors and not raise taxes?
Or yet another way, how do you reconcile these statements at the OFA meeting:
State Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, both appeared at Thursday’s forum to show their support for the agency and its plight.
“I know these are difficult times, but we can’t forget about our seniors,” Amedore said.
“If they go out of business, that would be a tragedy,” Farley added. “We can’t let them flounder.”
“What this tour is about is cutting taxes, cutting spending and bringing back jobs to New York state,” state Republican Chairman Edward Cox told about 75 people who turned out for the event.
That message was echoed in remarks by state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, as well as state comptroller candidate and Johnstown native Harry Wilson.
In the end, I think you must choose one of the options below if you profess the statements above:
1) Fund OFA and raise taxes to protect seniors
2) Defund OFA: to lower taxes and to protect our community from a mass exodus to protect kids, families and seniors.
3) There is no other option, you must choose one of the above
Well, which is it? And yes, county supervisors are subject to the same choices as above.