County to state: Don't shift burden on to taxpayers

NORWICH – Chenango County urged Governor David Paterson and the New York State Legislature to avoid cost shifts to county governments in a resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors Monday.

“We are playing our part. We are encouraging all municipalities and individuals to do the same,” Chairman Richard B. Decker said.

The resolution advocates that the state’s legislature “exercise discretion and restraint” during the Governor’s Nov. 18 emergency budgeting session where lawmakers are being asked to trim $1.5 billion from the state’s current budget shortfall.

Chenango County joins other members of the New York State County Executives Association in calling on the state to avoid cost cutting that could shift the burden to local taxpayers. A bipartisan group of county chief executives, participating in a conference call late last week, recommended $1 billion in cuts that would not increase taxes for homeowners or businesses.

“The current situation is not insurmountable. We can fundamentally restructure our state mandate program in a way that reduces costs and improves core public programs and services,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of the NYSCEA.

The Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously to adopt the resolution after agreeing to a five-year labor contract and just minutes before establishing a date for a public hearing on the 2009 tentative budget.

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