Bill could slash your property taxes in half

March 22, 2018 11:53 PM

A state proposal could lower your county property tax bill by 50%.

The state legislation would relieve county governments of their responsibility to pay for the state's portion of Medicaid.

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Monroe County leaders said that it would have a huge impact on local taxpayers.
"We rank 50th in terms of the highest tax burden in the nation," said Republican Brian Kolb of Canandaigua, who serves as New York State Assembly Minority Leader.

Kolb introduced the bill, and Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo joined him in Albany to make her plea to the state for Medicaid relief for counties.

"Our 2018 Medicaid payment will total over $175 million," she said.

Dinolfo said that right now, Monroe County has no control over 85% of the money that leaders spend. The 85% is funding mandated by the state, and the biggest mandate is Medicaid.  

"New York is only one of 18 states in the nation that requires counties to pay a portion of the state's share of the Medicaid program," she said.

Last year, a similar plan gained steam federally before falling out of the tax reform legislation. If passed this year, Dinolfo said that the tax rate in Monroe County will drop from around eight dollars per thousand, to four dollars per thousand.
"That's almost a 50% cut in your property tax bill in the county of Monroe alone," Dinolfo said.

With the state budget deadline next week, News10NBC wanted to know if this bill will gain traction. We took that question to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

"I think it's very unrealistic to say that in a time where we have a $4.4 billion deficit, and we have many other fiscal challenges, that now is the time to do that," she said.

Advocates argue that if the costs are passed on to the state, it'll force them to become more fiscally responsible.

"I think they're missing the fact that we've already done that, that they missed the whole report from the Medicaid re-design team where we've actually driven down costs to historic lows," Hochul said.
 She points to a cap on Medicaid costs for counties. The state now pays for all increases.

The governor's office said that it's saved Monroe County alone more than $250 million since 2005.
"Assuming the continuing to take on the additional costs of Medicare that is something that I know, many of the ones that are being reasonable are grateful for," Hochul said.

New York counties still spend more on Medicaid than all other counties in the country combined.  Dinolfo said that changes could have huge impact.
"It hurts our residents," she said. "It hurts our businesses. It helps people make an easy decision. They leave New York State, and that's a huge problem."
The bill would shift costs over the next ten years, and would be sent to the Ways and Means Committee. With a Democrat majority in the New York State Assembly, it's unlikely the bill will gain much momentum.

News10NBC will continue to follow this proposal and bring you any updates.


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