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Letter: Tax hike would hurt seniors most

Editor, The Spotlight:

I read your editorial on October 12th called ‘Let’s talk about tax’ and the accompanying article by Andrew Beam ‘County Budget calls for 19% tax hike’ with great interest. Your editorial has it right by saying the taxpayer should not be penalized for living in a county that has perpetually lived outside its means. While there’s no question that such an increase will affect all county residents, it will more severely affect the seniors in our community who have seen no increase in their social security checks in almost 3 years.

The proposed budget comes with an increase in taxes but also with a decrease of services for seniors. The County states as reasons for the increase pension payments, health insurance, and an increase in the debt service as if they are automatic. The services being cut are crucial to seniors and allow them to live independently in their own homes. If these services are taken away, the County will be faced with an increasing number of seniors unable to live independently. When one looks at the County budget of $600 million what you don’t see is how little is available for seniors, who make up 20% of the County population, less than ½ of 1% of the budget!

We encourage the community, in particular the senior community, to speak up and have a voice about this issue. Tell your legislators to get serious about evaluating priorities.

Sincerely,

Edward Neary

Executive Director

Colonie Senior Service Centers

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