Cuomo’s plan shifts burden to taxpayers

I applaud Maureen Harding for her Another Voice in the June 19 News. The expenses of a local town, village, city or county don’t simply “go away” when the governor decides to give tax relief to a few. The costs are simply spread across a fewer number of taxpayers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is merely shifting a greater responsibility to the residents, which compounds the current dilemma, particularly in the governor-invoked tax-cap climate.

In 1975, the Town of Grand Island received $144,000 in state revenue sharing. This represented 19 percent of the total revenues. In 2012, we received $90,000, which accounted for less than 2 percent of total town revenues. This is not a figure “adjusted for inflation” – these are the actual dollars. By comparison, sales tax revenue has remained steady at about 38 percent of the revenue pie. Guess what has had to pick up the slack? Property taxes.

The cost of services provided by local governments has not decreased. In the passing 37 years, an even greater burden to provide these services has been placed on the local governments. The governor’s plan will not deliver tax relief to local residents. The same expenses are now to be spread across a smaller tax base in a state where the tax-cap does not allow you to do so.

Pamela Barton

Supervising Accountant

Town of Grand Island