The 2019-20 New York state budget passed last week but it gave nothing new to the town of Webster. We did retain the $140,000 state aid that we receive each year to help offset some costs, but we received no extra money in the way of state aid. The Webster Central School District did receive more state aid to operate the school system, but the town of Webster received nothing to help with our infrastructure, buying of new equipment, or adding sidewalls to the town.
The 2% tax cap was made permanent but it is not a true 2% each year. This rate is tied to inflation which makes the 2% number a moving target each year for towns to anticipate and balance their budgets. This is difficult to do not knowing what the number is until halfway through the budget year.
I am also having problems with Governor Cuomo’s math. He said that New York state stayed under the 2% tax cap but his numbers do not prove that. In 2018-19 the state budget was $168.3 billion and a 2% increase of that would be $3.36 billion right? However, his 2019-20 budget is $175 billion, which minus $168.3 billion, leaves $6.7 billion which is not 2%. This is the way I learned math back in 1968 at R.L. Thomas but maybe the Governor does math a different way?
According to our New York State senator, the new budget includes $1.4 million in new taxes and fees plus many new unfunded mandates passed on to the towns and county governments. The new progressive Democratic majority has led us to more tax and spend government, with more give-a-ways that will, in the future, put more of a burden on our kids and grandkids. With a shortfall of $2.3 billion in revenues just in December, it is clear why so many are leaving New York state so quickly. If there is a downturn in the economics of this country or a downturn in the stock market anytime soon, New York state will be in big trouble without substantial reserves to tide us over until the recession turns again. It is only a matter of time here in New York when more residents leave the state and taxes and fees will be higher on those who remain.
No major businesses are coming here because they want to be in New York; they are coming because New York state and counties within the state are offering big tax breaks to entice business to come to New York state. These tax breaks are actually only your money from your left-hand pocket that the New York state gives away to keep business in New York from leaving for more friendly states. It truly is a sad way that the governor and his Democratic majority are running New York state into bankruptcy with their only saving grace is to tax us more to keep the state afloat.
As always, if you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at supervisor@ci.webster.ny.us.