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Sunday, February 20, 2011


ayoffs, tax hikes coming in proposed Albany County budget

Posted: Oct 08, 2010 10:23 PM EDT
ALBANY, N.Y. - Joe Sullivan has owned his home in Albany for the past 37 years. He says things are getting tough with all the recent budget woes.
"I had to borrow for my school taxes due September 30th, so for a lot of us it's going to push us over the edge, we don't know what to do because we have no where to go," said Sullivan.
Friday's announcement that property taxes may raise 14.9% under the county's 2011 proposed budget has him not only concerned for himself, but also his friends and neighbors.
"Most of the homeowners are elderly, we're not getting any increases in our social security," Sullivan said. "We just can't afford this they're driving us into the ground."
County Executive Mike Breslin says he's left with no other choice, because of a nearly 40 million dollar revenue decline, stemming from a decrease in federal and state aid. The tax hike will likely come, despite Breslin cutting county spending by $24 million.
"I know the taxpayers can't pay exorbitant amounts of money, but I know they need services," Breslin said. "We've got to make sure we do it in a way that recognizes the needs of taxpayers but gets the services out in the most efficient way."
His budget for 2011 not only includes the tax hike, but also eliminating more than 500 county jobs, and the possibility of closing down the county nursing home. Breslin says next year, county taxpayers will pay $17.7 million dollars to subsidize the nursing home.
"If people need nursing home beds, there are other nursing home beds around here, we need to make sure we can place them there and they can be served there," said Breslin.
At least one county legislator is adamant that shutting down the nursing home is not an option and says he'll fight to make sure it stays that way.
"It's within our jurisdiction, we'll override him if it becomes necessary," said Legislator Brian Scavo.
Breslin says while this budget may appear bad, 2012 isn't looking any better. The budget gap for that year is expected to be around $20 million, a number Breslin says could be doubled if the nursing home stays opens.
The proposed budget for 2011 now heads to the county legislature before it can be officially approved. DONATE HERE HTTP:/BRIANSCAVO.COM         HTTP://BRIANSCAVO7.BLOGSPOT.COM

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