Oneida County is taking a gamble that an accounting change could enable it to stay beneath the state’s new cap on property tax increases.
The budget Picente proposed Wednesday morning stays within the 2 percent tax cap, according to Picente’s calculations.
That’s because he wants to bill property tax payers for the county’s share of the Mohawk Valley Community College budget on a different line than the rest of the cost. . . .
If Picente’s plan goes through, residents will pay a share of the cost of the college funding based on how many MVCC students live in their home municipality.So let's see how this will work . . . Utica has the main MVCC campus. Rome has a secondary MVCC campus. Both cities are the places where students are most likely to take up residence because (1) the campuses are there and (2) both cities contain most of the region's affordable housing. The residents of both host cities already pay increased police costs because students behave like ... students.
This is like the bad old days when Oneida County billed Aid for Dependent Children to City residents because the City was the only place in the region where the poor could afford (or were allowed) to live. It was the poor being forced to support the poor.
Mr. Picente's proposal continues the terrible Oneida County record of sticking County costs on to city residents and taxpayers, especially those in Utica. Any wonder why our cities are in decline?
Maybe the occupation of Liberty Bell Corner on 10/13 should be moved to 600 Park Ave instead?
If Mr. Picente wants to get Counties from outside Oneida to kick in for their students, that's fine. But if our County leaders want to support the costs of educating MVCC students, they should pass those on to ALL Oneida County taxpayers, not shift them on to individual municipalities without the approval of the voters of each municipality.