Town of Elbridge responds to county's tax redistribution

The Elbridge Town Board passed the following resolution at its Nov. 17 meeting by a unanimous vote with all board members present:

Be it said that the Onondaga County Legislature, our County Legislator Robert D. Warner and County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney have made public statements impugning the financial practices of the town of Elbridge town government, which are misleading and false.

It has been stated that the reformulation of the distribution of the sales tax revenue will "make transparent and reveal the true cost of the town government" as a general statement with respect to the 19 towns that are within Onondaga County, which includes the Town of Elbridge. This statement is misleading in that it indicates the town of Elbridge has not been forthcoming about our true costs. In our annual budget the town of Elbridge has always been forthright in revealing our sources of revenue and our anticipated expenses. Furthermore, in addition to the daily accountability of our upstanding staff, we are annually audited with strong positive reviews. For the record - the town of Elbridge has never received the sales tax revenue to meet our budgetary needs. We in fact have allowed Onondaga County to return this to our tax paying property owners in the form of reduced taxes.

We as a board have stated in the strongest terms that the re-negotiation of the sales tax revenue was not in the favor of the town of Elbridge taxpayer. Despite this our elected representation ignored our pleas and approved a sales tax revenue plan that will result in historically unprecedented tax increases to the town of Elbridge property owners. Furthermore, this formulation has penalized the rural poor as its formulation was based on assessed value, not on previously used methods. So while some towns have no negative impact of this new formulation, the town of Elbridge taxpayer by published accounts will receive a projected 78 percent tax increase. (78 percent is based on the currently projected tax rate of $4.73/thousand. The final tax rate will be set by Dec. 15.)

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