Local
8:54 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Vote approaching on county tax hike

Ahead of Tuesday's vote on the budget, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is calling on the legislature to reject amendments being put forth by the minority caucus.

Poloncarz says members of the minority caucus are too afraid to cut programs and too afraid to raise taxes so, he says, "They're making false cuts, irresponsible cuts on paper," which will create an $8.5 million hole in his budget.

"I'm worried that when the control board revisits this issue in January, they're going to say this doesn't work and we're going to go back into a control status," Poloncarz said.

"That's not good for the community and it certainly wasn't needed because I presented a fair, responsible budget that met the needs of the community."

The Poloncarz budget would increase property taxes on a typical $100,000 home by less than $20 per year.  

Legislator Joseph Lorigo, a Conservative who caucuses with the GOP minority says the tweaks made to the spending plan will eliminate the tax increase.

"I've heard the county executive call our cuts a sham, that they're reckless and irresponsible, but if you do your homework and look back at the cuts that were made by the Democrats to last year's budget, it's a lot of the exact same cuts," Lorigo told WBFO News.

"The Democrats made the same cuts to risk retention, they made cuts in the fringe benefits column, they made cuts in overtime. So, it's all the same cuts that were made a year ago.
          
The legislature meets to vote on the budget tomorrow, just hours ahead of the deadline.

Should the County Executive veto any items lawmakers will have until December 11 to override.