LETTER: No on county tax increase

Editor, The Spotlight:

The County Executive’s 2012 budgeted 19.2% tax levy increase is unfair, unwise and unjust.  You and I, as Taxpayers,  must live within our means, why shouldn’t the County do same.  I will be voting “NO” on this increase or any other increase that doesn’t meet the Cap or inflation, whichever is less, as established by the Governor.

I have been arguing in the Legislature for the last 3 years about the unsustainable level of expenses which have been accommodated by exhausting our reserves and the infusion of federal stimulus money.  Both these sources of funds have now all but dried up.  Government officials were also betting that the economy would come roaring back.  Wrong again.

Now what are we going to do?  Well it is the time for a reality check.  Rather than figuring out what we want to spend, wouldn’t it be more logical to determine how much we have to spend and then determine what to spend it on.  Isn’t that how you and I do budget in our daily lives?  Why should government be any different? 

As a fiscal conservative in the County Legislature I have been frustrated with the continuing tax and spend approach that has been prevalent during my term.  With more than 30 years of business experience, I am continually amazed how government operates in a mode that would bankrupt most business.  What keeps them afloat?  The government has the ability to raise money by raising taxes, which is exactly what we have seen in Albany County.

Taxpayers are overburdened.  People are leaving the state because they can’t afford the taxes.  Businesses are leaving, or not settling here, for a more “tax friendly” location. 

It is time to finally realize that well has run dry. 

 Richard Mendick

Albany County Legislator, 36th District

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RichardReevesEllington 4 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Mendick is absolutely correct in stating a no vote on the increased budget. I would disagree with him that there is a difference between living within the county budget as being separate from the citizenry. We are the county wallet.

Mr. Breslin once again shows why it is not necessary to look for candidates that are not in the thrall of political politics. They fail to accept that times and conditions have changed and that "business as usual" is not warranted. The right choice of elected officials is to start making the budget more transparent, showing what must be done, what should be done, and what is nice to do. Then open the forum to all citizens of the country. Let us rank order what we want and provide some real data to the politicians. If elected Bethlehem Town Supervisor, that is how I would run the budget. Discussion prior to putting it together in ways that provide wide and meaningful citizen input.

If you want to know more, please visit my website: bethlehemsupervisor.com.

Richard Reeves-Ellington WFP Candidate for Bethlehem Town Supervisor.


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