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County republicans urge taxpayers to weigh in on proposed tax hike

Photo provided by - Republican Caucus Erie County | Legislative Branch

Erie County Legislature Republicans are asking taxpayers to suggest where to cut discretionary spending to prevent a property tax increase.  With most of the budget mandated in one way or another, discretionary spending is relatively small,  covering libraries, roads and bridges and cultural grants.

Erie County Executive Poloncarz's proposed spending plan calls for a 3.4 percent tax hike, but legislators are asking what should be cut to keep taxes even. 

The minority caucus of the Erie County Legislature has rolled out a budget survey, asking taxpayers to weigh in on the proposed tax hike.

“The Minority Caucus opposes the County Executive’s request for a tax increase and continues to work to amend the proposed 2013 budget to eliminate any additional cost to taxpayers. Through this survey, we are engaging taxpayers to learn where they stand when it comes to a tax increase to pay for certain services. Constituent feedback is vital to the process as we shape a budget that best serves the interest of all taxpayers,” said Minority Leader John Mills. “We encourage all residents to take a moment to provide their feedback. Your participation is appreciated.”

Legislator Lynne Dixon of Hamburg said the GOP side of the aisle will be suggesting budget amendments but is looking for advice on what to cut, and noted the  survey is being widely distributed.

Dixon said legislators have the budget, but with hearings on the spending plan starting next week they can start looking at individual department budgets.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.