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Erie County NY to cut almost all services

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Erie County NY to cut almost all services

Old 11-05-04, 11:28 AM
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Erie County NY to cut almost all services

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial...05/1024599.asp
His budget will again amplify his demand for a sales tax increase. With the income generated by a new penny on the sales tax, Giambra says he could avoid most of the pain from the $130 million deficit forecast for next year.
I'm listening to the press conference right now. Basically, due to NY's uncontrolable benefits medicaid and the pentions (which are up to the counties to pay for) are going to suck up every cent of county taxes. Without a major increase Erie County (Buffalo area) won't be able to pay for anything other than the pension and medicaid. The budget that's being submitted is not going to pay for anything that's not mandated. No sheriff road patrols (the smaller townships rely on this for their police), no libraries, no zoo, no hospital money, most employees get fired, no snowplows, etc. Giambra wants an extra percent of sales tax since our property taxes are already insane (on a side note they claim renters don't pay property tax but that's BS since landlords factor it into rent, but that's just a rant on their sales tax commercial).
The state legislature (most disfunctional in the country) refuses to even have meetings to discuss cutting the costs of their mandated programs. We pay more for medicaid than texas and california COMBINED. From what I've been hearing on the news NY has accepted every option in the medicaid benefits package so that even shit like cosmetic surgery is covered (not reconstructive surgery to repair stuff from accidents which I could accept but full blown vanity stuff). Average gov't employee makes like 3 times what the average non gov't employee makes in this are. They wonder why our economy sucks ass and there are no jobs. Well this is why.

If they raise the sales tax I've already decided all my shopping will be done online or in neighboring counties. Probably end up costing me more, but I refuse to pay 9.25% in sales tax to pay for a program I think should be massively cut.

Last edited by mikehunt; 11-05-04 at 05:03 PM.
Old 11-05-04, 12:21 PM
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Mike,

Notice how they call it the 'penny tax' rather than saying it's an additional 1% sales tax.

The NYS legislature needs to get the heads out of the asses and fix the system. Unfortunately we will get nowhere with Pataki, Silver and Bruno running things. Pensions are what they are, but medicaid and NY state's contribution needs to change. Our taxes are way too high as it is.
Old 11-05-04, 12:28 PM
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I just finished writing a letter to send to the legislature members. I contend that the benefits need to be cut, not raise taxes and urge them to not allow the increased sales tax.
I like how in the commercials they claim renters don't pay property taxes even though those taxes are included in rent. And they say that tourists pay sales tax too. That'd be true if we had tourists, but we don't
Old 11-05-04, 12:38 PM
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I fell bad for you guys, but dare I say I know how it feels. Allegheny County, PA (Pittsburgh), is heading towards much the same situation.

Selfish, ignorant leadership on the local level is the bane to community progress.
Old 11-05-04, 01:02 PM
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Hah! We've got you all beat! San Diego is rumored to be on the verge of bankruptcy and is being investigated by the FBI for a massive coverup and downright fraud. It's gotten so bad.....voters have just about kicked out the two "incumbents" and the Chargers to boot; and chose instead to vote a politically inexperienced surf shop owner (write-in candidate) for mayor because the nonsense has gotten so bad. Way to go for the country's 7th largest city.
Old 11-05-04, 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by wabio
Hah! We've got you all beat! San Diego is rumored to be on the verge of bankruptcy and is being investigated by the FBI for a massive coverup and downright fraud. It's gotten so bad.....voters have just about kicked out the two "incumbents" and the Chargers to boot; and chose instead to vote a politically inexperienced surf shop owner (write-in candidate) for mayor because the nonsense has gotten so bad. Way to go for the country's 7th largest city.
Was the surf-shop owner actually elected?

Reminds of about ten or 15 years ago when I would occasionally go into this bar in my hometown (not my regular place, but a friend went there often). Nice owner / bartender. He later sold it and started up a construction firm, and recently was elected into his second term as a state senator. There's something to be said about non-politicians becoming politicians, they bring a different perspective to the table.
Old 11-05-04, 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by Heat
There's something to be said about non-politicians becoming politicians, they bring a different perspective to the table.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor..._diego_mayor_3

I hope this is "different" enough for you.
Old 11-05-04, 02:21 PM
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So you have a sales tax and an income tax?
Old 11-05-04, 02:23 PM
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Benefits and pensions are one of the biggest problems all over the country. This will be one of the major issues all over the country in the next few years. The cities/counties that you have all mentioned are jus the tip of the iceberg. It is getting very close to that point in NJ.
Old 11-05-04, 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
So you have a sales tax and an income tax?
some of the highest in the country



more details
http://www.wgrz.com/news/news_articl...?storyid=24066
Erie County Budget Calls For 3,000 layoffs, Massive Funding Cuts

Posted by: Stefan Mychajliw, Reporter
Created: 11/4/2004 9:31:02 PM
Updated: 11/5/2004 12:34:39 PM

Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is calling for massive cuts in a worst-case scenario budget delivered Friday.

The budget assumes the Erie County Legislature and New York State will reject a one-penny hike in the sales tax.

It includes:

# 3,000 county layoffs
# 3,000 other layoffs at outside agency jobs.
# Closing all branch libraries.
# Ending county cultural funding.
# An end to EC Sheriff's Dept. Road Patrols

"Life as we know it in Erie County basically comes to a halt," Giambra said describing the dire budget plan. "$130 million in local spending on libraries, culturals, health care, senior services, police road patrols, suburban road projects, and plowing is wiped out."

A second budget plan, contingent on a change in the state sales tax is less drastic, but the attention is clearly focused on what Giambra is calling "The Red Plan"

“That version of the budget is being called the ‘scorched earth’ budget, the ‘doomsday’ budget,” said one Erie County worker on the condition of anonymity.

Those job cuts would kick in on January 1st, 2005.

“In essence, Erie County government will be shut down,” said another Erie County worker on the condition of anonymity.

For the most part, the exception will be the Department of Social Services, mandaated by the state.

Under the budget plan that does not include the passage of the extra penny sales tax, 2 On Your Side is being told the only remaining members of Joel Giambra’s staff would be the County Executive himself, Deputy County Executive Carl Calabrese, and a secretary.

Giambra has been wrestling with the budget for weeks, warning of severe cuts without some way of offsetting the state mandated costs of Medicare, a program giving health care to the elderly and poor.

In previous years, Giambra has been able to draw down on a county surplus to balance the budget, but that is not available.

Giambra unveiled the budget in a morning news conference cut short Friday morning by fire alarms in the Rath Building. After a breif evacuation, reporters and staff returned for the budget briefing.
Old 11-05-04, 02:50 PM
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Yeah, I just heard a Political ad for the 'penny medicare tax' instead of the sales tax increase a penny. Buffalo government is run so poorly, it is amazing that Buffalo has not been reposessed.

It was bad enough that here in Niagara County they raised the sales tax from 7 to 8.25 a few years after Erie county did. Now they want to tax us to death, when will it stop? 99.5% ? Why not take a pay cut and get rid of the excess, try that.

Hearing Giambra's speech, he was crying about letting employees go..blah blah blah, guess his relatives will be on the street! What a crock.
Old 11-05-04, 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by mikehunt
some of the highest in the country
Wow. At least I would assume that with all that you guys pay that you have great education, low crime, low unemployment, very few homeless, etc.
Old 11-05-04, 03:16 PM
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yeah right. they flush it all down the toilet. I've heard the teachers' insurance and medicaid in NY pay for cosmetic surgery, the vanity kind not the "fix a birth defect" kind which I would support

it was funny during the press conference when he defended his driver, who makes something like $80,000
"he's not a driver. he has a 4 year degree and is an administration assistant and advisor. he's been driving with me to fill in for my previous driver who was making $35,000 who passed away a year and a half ago"
Old 11-05-04, 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by mikehunt
yeah right. they flush it all down the toilet. I've heard the teachers' insurance and medicaid in NY pay for cosmetic surgery, the vanity kind not the "fix a birth defect" kind which I would support

it was funny during the press conference when he defended his driver, who makes something like $80,000
"he's not a driver. he has a 4 year degree and is an administration assistant and advisor. he's been driving with me to fill in for my previous driver who was making $35,000 who passed away a year and a half ago"
Why does he need a driver?
Old 11-05-04, 03:36 PM
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Maybe they should start getting paid the wages that are created in all these new McJobs that have been created in the past few years. I am sure a few years at $8 per hour would make these politicians do one of 2 things, claim a 400 hour work week, or realize that they were paid too much.
Old 11-05-04, 04:26 PM
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Re: Erie County NY to cut almost all services

Originally posted by mikehunt
...
So why don't YOU run for office if it bothers you so much?
Old 11-05-04, 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
So you have a sales tax and an income tax?
Hell, in the city they have state and city income tax plus a 9%(I think) sales tax...I knew this when I moved here but its still unbelievable at times. Oh well, Im still better off then I ever was in Florida with the meager wages they have there.
Old 11-05-04, 04:42 PM
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Re: Re: Erie County NY to cut almost all services

because I have no interest in associating with politics in that way.
I do write quite frequently though
In addition I don't think I'd win. Not all that good at debating, horrible at public speaking, only 25, don't have a background to qualify me for any office. Maybe if there was a "commissioner of county computers" I could run

Originally posted by Breakfast with Girls
So why don't YOU run for office if it bothers you so much?

Last edited by mikehunt; 11-05-04 at 05:04 PM.
Old 11-05-04, 04:59 PM
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Re: Erie County NY to cut almost all services

Originally posted by mikehunt
...Without a major increase Erie County (Buffalo area) won't be able to pay for anything other than the pention and medicaid...
Wasn't there a big union strike in Buffalo a year or two ago for better pensions and health benefits?
Old 11-05-04, 05:03 PM
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yeah. police union. fire union was going to do it too
Old 11-05-04, 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by FantasticVSDoom
Hell, in the city they have state and city income tax plus a 9%(I think) sales tax...I knew this when I moved here but its still unbelievable at times. Oh well, Im still better off then I ever was in Florida with the meager wages they have there.
in NYC we pay state income tax and city income tax as well as property taxes.

good thing is that these pay for garbage, water and sewer services and they are deductible from federal income taxes.
Old 11-05-04, 05:31 PM
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Wow, that's pretty bad. So does this mean that there will be no snowplowing? That alone could shut the whole city down during an average Buffalo winter.
Old 11-05-04, 05:53 PM
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they're asking for bids from companies to try to get a really cheap rate. the individual towns will still have their plows running

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