Lewis budget raises tax levy

Lewis budget raises tax levy

There are 6 comments on the Watertown Daily Times story from Nov 11, 2010, titled Lewis budget raises tax levy. In it, Watertown Daily Times reports that:

Lewis County's tentative budget would cut spending but still increase the tax levy by 2.9 percent and the true-value tax rate by 1.8 percent owing to a sharp drop in fund balance use.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Watertown Daily Times.

Buford

Lake Placid, NY

#1 Nov 11, 2010
When the private sector runs into problems, layoffs and wage freezes ensue. The same thing needs to happen in county government! Get rid of some deadbeats and hold the line on wages---no more shoving your hand into someone else's pocket for an automatic raise. Lewis County's population is not growing, but we have many more public employee's than just 20 years ago. There's too many cops. There's too many highway workers. For damn sure, there's too many social services pencil pushers handing out welfare checks. Just stop this crap!
WE KNOW

Poland, NY

#2 Nov 11, 2010
Buford,Your right,pay freezes,layoffs,limit or no overtime.If we do it they need to do it.They need to stop wasting our money!!!!!!!
theman

United States

#3 Nov 12, 2010
Lewis County is sitting on 146 million dollars in the fund balance. That money belongs to the taxpayers. It is not the County's purpose to be growing a huge fund balance beyond what is necessary to cover an emergency.
A significant amount of that fund balance should be applied to the budget. This would result in a tax cut and money would be returned to the taxpayer, where it belongs.
theman

United States

#4 Nov 12, 2010
sorry, somehow the decimal point didn't register in the first post- it is 14.6 million dollars.
ODB

Syracuse, NY

#5 Nov 12, 2010
I'd rather that they find ways to cut spending than dipping into the fund balance. The fund balance becomes an emergency reserve, when unexpected expenses come up...(severe winter requires more road maintenance, a dead ATVer's family sues the county, necessary construction expense over-runs from change ordersetc.)

Paying out of the fund balance only temporarily treats a symptom... it doesn't solve the condition. We need to stop spending so much.
theman

United States

#6 Nov 12, 2010
Not really ODB, read my post again. Yes, we need a healthy fund balance, but 14.6 million is way beyond what is necessary. Municipalities should not be in the business of building huge savings accounts with someone elses money, that is the taxpayers. I'm in favor of cuts also, as long as necessary services aren't cut. From what I've read, cuts have been made, but now we have cuts and a tax increase.
Besides, a huge pot of money is tempting and could lead to some self centered and politically motivated spending in the future. This money belongs to the taxpayers and they should get some back in the form of tax cut.

As for one of your examples, "a dead ATVer's family...", I understand that risk. An insurance company could decide to walk away from a lawsuit, leaving the County and the taxpayers holding the bag because the roads were opened illegally. Insurance companies need not pay claims based on illegal acts. I don't believe the best way to combat this scenario is by having a huge pot of taxpayer money in the hands of politicians. The Legislators supporting the illegal acts that put taxpayers at risk should be held accountable and voted out. Voters should elect Legislators that understand that part of their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers involves not taking illegal actions that put taxpayers at economic risk.

Give some money back and give the taxpayers a break.

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