County officials: Cut costs, don't shift them

QUEENSBURY Warren County Supervisors have been for years grumbled about unfunded mandates, or state and federal legislators passing laws requiring that counties and towns make various expenditures, but not compensating the municipalities for these costs. Now, with the economic recession and the plunging state corporate tax income, state officials are calling for substantial budget reductions, which would potentially shift a tax burden to local taxpayers if programs werent cut proportionately. Local supervisors dont want the state legislators to slash their budget merely shif the costs, particularly when taxpayers are seeing their 401ks and retirement plans shrink, according to Warren County Board of Supoervisors Chairman Fred Monroe. State legislators must understand that their cuts cant be at the counties expense, he said. Friday, the Warren County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling for state legislators and policy makers to discern between real cuts and cost-shifting. County budget records indicate that the federal- and state-mandated programs represent $49 million in county expenditures, for which only $29 million is compensated, leaving =more than $20 million the county taxpayers must shoulder in costs for federal and state programs. The local resolution passed Friday and sent to Albany and Washington D.C. calls for eliminatng wasteful and unnecessary spending, and restructuring of the governmental bureaucracy instead of simply moving the tax burden to the local property owners.

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