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March 28, 2019 - 3:14pm

Letter from GC Legislature Chair: NY leaders should reject new unfunded state mandates

A letter sent today from Genesee County Legislature Chair Robert Bausch:

The State Budget currently being negotiated by state lawmakers is a double negative for local taxpayers.

On the one hand, it includes the Internet Fairness Act, which will require New Yorkers to pay sales taxes on more of their online purchases. At the same time, it takes the local share of those tax revenues and devotes it to funding programs that were cut in the state budget.

Specifically, the budget proposal creates a new mandate for county property taxpayers to backfill $60 million in state funding cuts to nearly 1,300 towns and villages. It also uses local tax dollars for other state initiatives such as early voting, bail reform, and a new lead monitoring program.

These new mandates are on top of the 9 state mandates that already consume more than $12 billion in local revenues from counties and NYC each and every year. That’s $1 billion a month in local tax dollars that was never invested in the local economies, infrastructure, services, and programs. These were local tax dollars taken by state leaders and spent the way that they see fit.

In Genesee County, we spend $28.7 million on state mandated programs and services, which consumes 98 percent of the property taxes we collected last year.

We urge Legislative Leaders and the Governor to demonstrate their commitment to all of our communities by rejecting the new unfunded state mandates proposed in this state budget.

John Roach
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Yet, they have no problem doing the same thing to local businesses.

Daniel Norstrand
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Buck the state mandates? What a concept. I like Robert Bausch! You should contact all of the legislator chairs across the state in orde to gain some support & momentum Robert. Good luck & stay strong. BTW I hope you're figuring that this applies to the uneeded jail. Also you might feel out those fellow chairs regarding their thoughts on splitting up the state.

david spaulding
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A bit off the topic but,.. Is there any merit to an electoral college type of voting in state government elections? We know why it's there for the big federal one, maybe a variation of the same concept could be enacted in NY so people in west NY would have some kind of say in what's going on..

John Roach
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David, sure there is merit. But they will never change the current system.

Howard B. Owens
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Reynolds v. Sims, I would guess, would be a hurdle to overcome. It's what prevents state senators from being elected on a county-level basis instead of proportional representation.

Reynolds v. Sims established the concept of "one man, one vote." A phrase and concept not found anywhere in the Constitution.

Of course, it only applies to state elections, not federal elections.

And I'd like to see Reynolds v. Sims overturned.

In New York, one senator per county would help preserve the voice of rural voters and protect rural voters from the tyranny of the majority, a danger recognized by the founders but increasingly ignored in modern America.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._Sims

Tim Miller
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Watch out, Howard! A comment the other day referenced "majority rules - unless you are one of those Libs!".. what you are suggesting implies you are "one of those Libs"!

:-D

Howard B. Owens
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Everybody wants "majority rules" until their on the losing end of the vote that limits their rights.

Thomas Callan
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Howard, do you think it is ok to send infected kids to school? Mrs. Rayburn does.

Howard B. Owens
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I have no idea who Mrs. Rayburn is. Why would you ask?

Thomas Callan
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Before I answer that, let me reiterate. Do you think it is okay to send infected kids ( with measles) to school? My feeling is no,,,, because health and safety, TRUMP the minority of parents who think it is okay to do so. That group are usually liberal, selfish, and inconsiderate of the majority of people who vaccinate their children.

Howard B. Owens
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I'm just curious why you find it necessary to ask what I think.

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