County execs urge state to reconsider cuts

He said it is important that the state does not decide to further shift what would be state costs to the county, having real property taxpayers footing the bill for county services.

Breslin's sentiments were echoed by other county executives, including Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney who said, "This is a very real fiscal crisis in New York state. Everywhere we go, taxpayers are asking for relief."

Breslin said that this year, taxpayers have already begun to see the trickle-down effect of cuts in state funding.

"This year, they cut the funding to us by 3 percent. That means that the average funding from the state is down 3 percent. The cost of Medicaid continues to go up 3 percent every year," said Breslin.

"That is the message: 'State, don't cut anymore, because the situation already is dire for state property taxpayers. Don't choose that as an alternative, state, as a response to the current economic problem.'"

Breslin also said that, while unpleasant, it is not uncommon for the state to pass on the burden to the counties when it is experiencing financial distress.

In light of this year's cuts, however, Breslin said the county will continue to work on measures to assist the taxpayers.

"We've been working for a number of years on several areas to assist those who live on the margins and who really cannot help themselves and who need assistance -- particularly those who need long-term care. We have a long-term care council looking at how we can orchestrate our environment," he said.

The county has also been involved with a project to move the Albany County Nursing home to a new location as part of an approach to improve the living conditions for those who use the services.""

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