Dear Senator Ritchie:
On behalf of the property taxpayers of Oswego County, we call on you and your colleagues in the State Legislature to accelerate the Governor’s Medicaid relief proposal to include an immediate ?eeze on local Medicaid costs at this year’s level. In the next several days, as you prepare to vote for your State Budget, please know that Oswego County property taxpayers are relying on you to enact this mandate relief.
As you know, the Governor’s proposed budget included four mandate relief proposals that will benefit county property taxpayers-Early Intervention Reform, Pre-School Special Education Reform, Pension Reform, and a freeze on the local share of Medicaid over a period of three years – the latter two being the most meaningful for this county. Collectively, if enacted, these proposals can be the beginning of real fiscal relief for most counties.
But some of these proposals are already in jeopardy of being rejected by the State Legislature, potentially depriving local property taxpayers of meaningful relief. If any of these mandate relief proposals are rejected, it becomes more imperative that local Medicaid costs be frozen now.
Legislative and regulatory mandates now control 83% of Oswego County’s $193 million budget.
Medicaid alone is $25 million of our $46 million property tax levy, and grows by roughly $700,000 every year. This is simply not sustainable.
Last year, when the property tax cap was enacted, there was a promise that mandate relief would follow.
It’s now time for you to stand up and be counted (by your vote) in favor of mandate relief. Should this ‘relief not come as promised, services will have to be eliminated and/ or significantly reduced, to the detriment of our common constituency.
Again, in the next several days, as you discuss and vote on the State budget, please call on your colleagues and legislative leaders to immediately freeze local Medicaid costs at this year’s level.
Please don’t let another budget pass without providing real and immediate mandate relief.
Fred C. Beardsley, Chairrnan, Oswego County Legislature