To The Editor:
Treasurer Gardner says that “County finances are ‘stable.’
Chairman of County Legislature Broadwell speaks of “collaboration, bipartisanship, mandated vs non-mandated costs, $713 in taxes”
Head of the IDA and OOC speaks of PILOT agreements, jobs, jobs.
Now take a realistic look at the county without rose (Republican) colored glasses on.
“County Finances ‘Stable'”
2010 – Fund Balance $42 million
2014 – Fund Balance $30 million – $2.92 million taken out to balance the budget
2015 – Fund Balance $27 million – $1 million taken out to balance the budget
2016 – Fund Balance $20 million – $1.75 million taken out to balance the budget
2017 – Fund Balance $? – $2.6 million taken out to balance the budget
2018 – Fund Balance – $26 million – $1.9 million taken out to balance the budget
A grand total of $10.17 million in 5 years has been taken out of the fund balance to balance the budget and they want to keep doing more of the same.
Real Stable – The fund balance has been reduced from $42 million less than 10 years ago to $26 million now!
Don’t forget the Reserve funds have yet to be replenished.
Collaboration, Mandated vs Non-Mandated Costs:
Non-Mandated costs and Taxes
A word has to be mentioned regarding the (average) $713 tax bill our citizens receive from Oswego County.
Our median income is less than that of the United States and New York State.
To state the obvious, we have issues.
It is imperative that the Legislature spend wisely.
To continue to use mandated costs as an excuse for high taxes is a deceptive practice aimed at blaming someone else.
There are far too many PILOTs in this county — tax breaks for business that you and I pay for.
Interested taxpayers need only look a little deeper to understand that New York State mandates are only a part of the problem.
As Chairman Broadwell speaks about revenue, keep in mind that when your elected official talks about revenue from any county department, that money is coming from you — the taxpayer.
County Clerk’s Office including the DMV?
You pay for that.
With every mortgage filed, every deed, every registration and renewed license you pay!
nd while the Chairman is correct in praising the efforts of county departments and employees, let’s look at some more facts about Oswego County and what you are getting for your money.
Aren’t you all so happy now?
Jobs, Jobs, PILOT Agreements
Ranked 59th out of 62 counties in Social/Economic standings.
Four years ago we were ranked 54th.
Oswego County ranks last in health outcomes in New York State. 25% of the children in this county live in poverty which is higher than the state average.
Oswego County’s unemployment rate is 7.2% — much higher than the state average of 5.3%. Ranked in the top 5 for highest unemployment in the state.
Aren’t we so glad we have so many PILOT agreements that are costing us millions of lost tax dollars?
Oswego County has a long way to go.
Now you have a realistic view of your county without rose (Republican) colored glasses.
Frank Castiglia Jr. – D-25th District – Minority Leader