Property tax hike proposed for Erie County
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Erie County legislature chambers won't be quiet for long.
Tuesday at 2 p.m. legislators will vote on the proposed 2013 county budget.
"If you want services, you gotta pay for them," Erie County Executive, Mark Poloncarz said.
"There is no money tree where you pluck the dollars off the money tree. I wish there was," he said.
Poloncarz's proposed budget for next year is $1.38 billion.
He's asking for a 3.4 percent property tax increase to balance the budget and keep funding services like public libraries, arts and culturals and road improvements.
Otherwise, Poloncarz said, even a hiring freeze was on the table.
"The legislators are trying to spend money without having it, and it just doesn't work," The County Executive said.
Poloncarz's proposed property tax increase would cost about $1.50 a month for every $100,000 in property value.
But Republicans say that for business owners or realtors for example, who own millions of dollars worth of property, it's no longer just a chunk of change."
Meanwhile some legislators have proposed cutting $8.5 million from a county lawsuit settlement fund, public works, and the sheriff's department overtime budget.
"We came up with the 8.5 million dollars we had to without any pain to the residents of Erie County as well as insulating them at a very uncertain time in their lives," Edward Rath, (R) 6th District Erie County Legislature told YNN.
No agreement came after a closed door meeting Monday between Poloncarz and some legislators.
"Erie County will move forward and provide the same services that we do without a property tax increase and we have the votes to get it done," Rath said.