BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz released his budget plan Monday, and it includes a 3.4 percent property tax hike for the average homeowner.
Poloncarz said his proposed budget is fair and responsible, and the property tax increase amounts to an $18 increase for a home assessed at $100,000.
"If people think that we're growing government because the budget went up - we're not. If it had just been the discretionary programs that grew, but nothing else, we would not be talking about a property tax increase," Poloncarz said.
The executive's proposed budget increases spending by $30 million, which he says is due almost exclusively to increases in state-mandated costs like Medicaid and pension payments.
To cut out the $8 million that would be generated by his proposed tax increase, Poloncarz says important services would have gone away.
"You would be drastically cutting the arts and cultural funding. You would have eliminated the rodent control program. We would have had to cut the sheriff's road patrol program, which would have been a public safety risk for this county," he explained.
Poloncarz says his four-year plan does not include further tax increases. His proposed budget also cuts 63 jobs, a majority of them in Social Services. It also safeguards the library system and gives $148,000 more to culturals. With his budget, the county executive is also looking to invest $39 million on roads, bridges, and parks.
For the full budget details, follow this link to the official release from Poloncarz' office.
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