County offers alternative to state-imposed tax cap and incentives

CHENANGO COUNTY – With recent action by the state legislature to extend the 2 percent property tax cap until 2020, Chenango County – along with many other counties – is calling for an even more effective way to relieve the burden for local taxpayers.

In an end-of-session move last month, the State Senate and Assembly made the tax cap a fixture to be adhered to by local municipalities for the next four years. Taxing jurisdictions that adhere to the cap become eligible for rebates and other incentives. And while the average homeowner in Chenango County might save an average $400 to $500 per year with these incentives, there may be a better alternative in having the state front the costs of Medicaid, explained Chenango County Treasurer William Craine.

“The biggest issue in New York is Medicaid. New York is the only state in the country that requires any substantial portion of Medicaid to be funded by localities,” said Craine, noting that Chenango County fronts approximately $11 million per year in Medicaid costs. “If you took all that money from various state incentives, then the state would have enough money to assume the local share of Medicaid.”

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