Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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September 27th, 2012

Overriding Tax Cap Was a Sad Necessity

Sullivan County legislators made a tough decision last week when they voted to override New York State’s two percent tax cap.
The tax cap set by the New York State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo is nothing more than a bogus political public relations ploy set by Albany politicians to garner headlines and gain votes. They wrote the law so tax caps can easily be overridden.

Our Albany lawmakers are playing a shell game with county governments and know in their heart of hearts that tax caps can never work as long as they refuse to do something with state mandates.

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and State Senator John Bonacic voted in favor of tax caps. In a political advertisement on, Gunther highlights her support of a property tax cap.

How does Assemblywoman Gunther expect Sullivan County to balance its budget without lifting Albany’s tax cap? What mandated programs or services should our county legislators cut in order to do so?

Many depressed counties, towns, and school districts throughout New York State have already voted to override tax caps, because costs mandated by Albany are out of control. And, now Sullivan County has no other option but to do the same.

Some say it was too soon to override the tax cap, because preliminary budget figures have not been released. Realistically, in order for County officials to properly prepare a budget, they need to know they can go above a 2 per cent property tax hike.

There is just so much blood one can get from a stone, and our legislators know it. None of us can afford another tax increase, but there is no alternative unless the legislature cuts municipal services we all rely on and need. Sullivan County is already operating at the core
Our sales and property tax revenue does not meet our spending. The County does not have the authority to cut social service mandates even though many people would like them to.

We are one of the poorest and unhealthiest counties in New York, and our economic base is not getting any better. Other counties excelling economically have lager sales and property tax revenues and can afford to pay for mandates, we simply cannot.

To their credit, our new legislators have been ripping county government apart. They are investigating every single expense, and looking for alternatives to operate more cost-effectively.

Legislators are just as incensed as we are by what appears to be an abuse of our welfare system. They are uncovering things that are scandalous, but finding their hands tied because of guidelines and mandates.

Tax caps will never work until Albany wakes up and understands that all taxpayers throughout the state should equally foot the bill for all social service programs no matter where they live. It is inappropriate, morally wrong, and possibly illegal to ask counties to pay more because they have more poor.

Overriding the tax cap was a sad necessity.

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