"In order to get us stable, we will probably have to raise property taxes," Picente said. "It's not going to be zero — I can tell you that. That's why we're in the mess we're in."Everyone knows that our high level of taxation is one of the top reasons why we're in the mess we're in -- why people and jobs are leaving the region in droves. So, what is being accomplished? The county is merely switching the pockets it wishes to pick from. It is just more of the "same old, same old" government we've been forced to live under for the last 30 years or so. Where will it get us: the poorhouse.
Again, "The Statistic:" Oneida County has lost 26+% of its population since 1970 -- about 85,000 people.
However, you don't need statistics to know that county government has significantly grown. Its building expansions are plain evidence: A new county law library building in Utica. New County offices at Union Station. The Rome campus of MVCC. Etc. It would be interesting to compare the county's building inventory when it served 320,000 residents in 1970 compared with serving under 235,000 now in 2007. Remember 1970? Life here was comparatively good.
With a declining population, government should be contracting. It should be spending less.
But that, apparently, is not something Mr. Picente wants to talk about. Instead he wants to reward his friends in New Hartford with a $150,000 check -- a "small token of the County’s appreciation in recognition that the Town is the economic engine that drives Oneida County" according to Leg. D'Onofrio. Giving money to New Hartford is like bringing coal to Newcastle. This is cheer leading the expansion of infrastructure that we all are going to have to pay for.
Don't go telling the taxpayers that spending cuts cannot be made.