Friday, September 27, 2002

To Understand a 28% Tax Increase...

Our County Executive announced his budget on Wednesday night that included a 28% tax increase. Before you jump to conclusions, you must understand several things.

A. State Mandated Medicaid is up $7.4 million dollars for 2003
B. the contribution to the NYS Retirement System is increasing $1.6 million
C. There is a $1.2 million increase for Community College Chargebacks
D. Non-Executive Elected Official's budgets have increased $1.4 million

My boss has cut his budget $7.2 million. That still leaves us about $12 million in the hole. The public seems to get it. It's Medicaid (and a wavering national economy and aftermath of 9/11). There's no whining here. Just plain facts, people. Speaking of...

How They Lie

One of Pataki's folk thought he'd try to sneak one by us. Robert Hinckley, a deputy state health commissioner said new legislation in January added $40 million to counties' costs, less than 1 percent of their increased Medicaid bills. Also, he said, Medicaid costs have grown by an average of 4 percent in New York under Gov. George Pataki from 1995-2001, compared to an 8 percent average nationally. "Under Gov. Pataki, county property taxes have been held in check across New York," Hinckley said. Right. And I have a bridge to sell you as well.

The word here is that Hinckley and company over at the state health department haven't been giving Pataki the real deal when it comes to figures about Medicaid. Of course Pataki believes them. Still voting for him? I would suggest Carl McCall, once again, as a very viable alternative. At least he doesn't have his head up his ass.

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