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State: Carrot lasts only one year

January 23, 2014

First, the good news for area school districts and municipalities: As we expected, state Gov. Andrew Cuomo is freezing property taxes for this year. Now, the bad new....

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Jan-27-14 8:46 AM


Since Christopher already showed how most of your post is completely wrong I guess I'll be selective and hit the couple remaining points.

First a Study done for the Canadian Government, published around 1980, and promptly disappeared shortly there after showed the fallacy to the line that smokers cost more in healthcare dollars over their lifetimes then none smokers.

In fact it showed the opposite, smokers tend to die younger than non-smokers which results in them expending far less dollars on healthcare, while at the same time paying huge amounts of extra tax (not a glowing endorsement for smoking but it shows the lie in the excuse used for "sin" taxes.)

More than half of all healthcare spending goes to caring for the extremely elderly, and most smokers don't end up in this group.

I realize the leftist in you can't help but think tax increases are the solution to everything, so maybe you should support putting a sin tax on making healthy choices? lol!

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Jan-24-14 8:50 PM

Steiner completely lost it, in the post "Helping with hair" about his wonderful insult on a young gril with cancer.

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Jan-24-14 8:00 PM

I am typing in the dark with out glasses , gezz.

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Jan-24-14 7:58 PM

HoCatain "...and when medicinal pot becomes law, you'll have a bunch of legally disabled pot takers staying stoned on pot all day long, inhibiting any desire to ever become a pot contributor...................................How does one be inhibited from any desire to ever become a pot contributor................ I you ever become so disabaled and in constant 24/7 pain and nothing works. Dont try medicla weed, just suffer through it till you expire. Because medical weed to you is bad.

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Jan-24-14 1:47 PM

...and when medicinal pot becomes law, you'll have a bunch of legally disabled pot takers staying stoned on pot all day long, inhibiting any desire to ever become a pot contributor.

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Jan-24-14 10:58 AM

We have among the highest state income taxes in the nation, and we also have an outrageous county tax bill, primarily due to medicaid costs - as Christopher points out. What gives? We bend until we break. And leave NYS. Leaving those behind to bend further.

A vicious spiral here. Those leaving are by and large pot contributors, and those coming are pot takers. That's not a recipe for success.

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Jan-23-14 11:36 PM

For what it's worth, I agree with Blomberg that we're stuffing too much vrappy food down our throats, but the public should be in charge of that. McDonalds, BK, Wendy's etc., PLEASE go back to the pre 1990's portion sizes for your products. Apparently, too many Americans don't have the willpower to stop eating when they're full and HAVE to finish that Big Gulp and Mondo fries.

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Jan-23-14 8:23 PM

...back at Dcron. I admit I'm getting off point, but do you really want govt taking away more of our choices, controlling even more on how we live our lives (within the law) by threatening us with heavy taxes if we don't make "smart" choices?

Powerful insurance companies own too many politicians already! They hire lobbyists who make hefty campaign contributions, and in return, these lawmakers enact legislation favoring the industry, then pass it off to the public as a benefit to society.

I'm sure you're familiar w/the terms: Social Engineering or the "nanny state". Mayor Bloomberg caught he!! w/his attempt to stop the sale of 32 oz soft drinks.

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Jan-23-14 8:13 PM

Replace the Cadillac with a VW and watch the masses flee for warmer places!!!!

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Jan-23-14 11:32 AM

@ "tax everything". Wtf? Cigarettes, booze, and gasoline are already taxed like nowhere else, so I don't even want to know your idea of "taxing the s**t out of them. How about killing off programs that don't need to be active to begin with? How about killing off welfare programs that we don't need, or requiring school mergers to be beneficial (I.e. not just a "merger" on paper), and as someone pointed out, there is so much waste due to the "buddy system" and/or the "if we don't spend it now, we won't get it next year" system, crap like that. Spending philosophies need to undergo a radical shift from SPEND EVERYTHING!, to spending what's needed. What a novel idea.

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Jan-23-14 11:22 AM

Dcronk, sorry, but you're really fullof Shiites on this one. California has more people on Medicaid than NYS, and yet the costs are MUCH less. Nobody in the 5% you mentioned is dying in California? Or how about Texas and Florida, combined, spending less than 50% of what NYS does for more people? Nobody is dying in those states either? NYS's Medicaid is high due to two things, number one being the options offered, a so-called Cadillac plan, and the typically overlarge and overpaid bureaucracy overseeing the program. Your opinion is a nice story, without one fact to support it. As for Phil, what a surprise, it's unions! Again, look up the expense of that ONE PROGRAM, see what happens if NYS pays the entire cost and takes it off the counties. Yes, all states are 50/50 with the feds, most do NOT split that 50% with their counties.

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Jan-23-14 10:48 AM

Dcron: tax the sh*t out of all products that are "potentially" harmful to your health, or as you put it, "cost drivers?" That'd be just about EVERY consumable product, if used excessively, like red meat, ice cream, eggs, butter, sausage, bacon, gravy, etc). Bloomberg tried this same concept w/his "32oz" soft drink law, but why stop there? There are risky hobbies that carry a "medical threat" to your body (ALL physical sports), thus driving up medical claims, so a heavy "hobby tax" would apparently be warranted. Can't forget the heavy "occupation tax" that would apply to people doing high-risk jobs such as police, fire, even liquor store owners, and finally the heavy "residency tax," applicable to all people living in high crime areas b/c it threatens their well being, which again, MAY result in higher medical claims. I'd expect a pol to come up with a crazy idea like this, trying to justify MORE taxes, not Dcron.

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Jan-23-14 9:54 AM

NY has the Cadillac of welfare programs! That is why we have the people moving here from every state around our borders and beyond to get the gravy train benefits for o work etc. Make our benefits like other states and watch the cost drop both to the state and to all the rest of us who foot the bill for this give away to other states residents moving here in increased costs for our own health insurance costs to make up for low Medicaid re- imbursement rates to doctors etc,

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Jan-23-14 9:32 AM

I believe medicaid costs are paid 50% by the federal government. State government pays the remaining 50% but in a few states like New York the state portion is shared one half by the counties. Yes, it is a major problem but so is the cost of too much government at the local level. At the root of the problem are public sector unions that demand more money every year for doing the same job. One thing I learned from my studies in economics is that there are only two justifications for salary increases. The first is an increase in productivity and the second is an increase in responsibility. In the absense of these two elements someone has to pay a price for greed and that is the story of public sector costs. There is no logic for all the governments we have in Chautauqua County and the governor is right to target thiss issue. We should have only one government at the county level.

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Jan-23-14 9:28 AM

This is the beginning of NYS forcing school mergers. If schools were smart,they are not, they would get serious and go in this direction. You won't see it. They will go bankrupt first. I don't know why the state is ***** footing around with this.....just do it!!! Force the mergers!!! If parents were on the right track they would be pressuring schools to merge. Instead you have thinking like let's make football teams smaller and have more of them instead of merging with another school. It's brain dead people like this and greedy administrators who will bankrupt schools.

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Jan-23-14 9:18 AM

Agreed! Don't misunderstand me, cuz I'm not trying to get into an event w/you that involves urination ;), but why can't our state reps understand this, or better yet, what's stopping them from getting it done? If you ask ANY rep individually, they'd quickly admit this must be done, yet collectively, they don't/won't! All NYers would be better served if STATE reps started FOLLOWING what other states do with respect to Medicaid costs, but for purely political reasons, they defiantly refuse!

My initial post was about what can be done LOCALLY to reduce property taxes. Labor costs associated with LOCAL services, regardless of whether or not such services are mandated, is what we can & must change, otherwise, people and businesses will just keep on leaving. We can't afford to wait until Albany does what it should.

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Jan-23-14 9:00 AM

Christuufuu -- medicaid is so expensive because over 80% of costs are driven by about 5% of recipients, and of those 5%, about 65% are at end of life.

You can talk about controlling costs all you want to, but to really, really control costs, we all have to be very willing to look at ALL the costs drivers -- we have some serious hard choices to make -- and if are really serious about personal responsibility, then we need to examine lifestyle choices and their costs to our healthcare system.

If the 5% are smokers, then tax the*****out of the tobacco products. If the 5% are obese, the ta the*****out of fast food, fatty, junkans sugary foods.

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Jan-23-14 8:39 AM

I hate to keep beating this dead horse, but the one single cost keeping most counties near bankruptcy and fueling local tax raises is MEDICAID!!!! Medicaid is the REAL elephant in the room. Most states pay the whole cost, NY splits 50/50 with the county while maintaining full control of the benefits offered. If NY reduced their Medicaid costs to the same level as even California, we'd save, as a state, more than 10 BILLION dollars! We'd save $20 billion if we reduced the level of care to Florida/Texas.

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Jan-23-14 8:26 AM

Paul, I certainly don't dispute there's LOTS of waste, excessive salaries for upper mgmt, & unneeded political appointee positions (hacks), but just to reiterate, we need reps in the state Assembly & House who are sincere, and willing to reduce/eliminate these costs. Just like when someone recently complained about local officials talking about repealing the SAFE Act. It's simply NOT a LOCAL issue and we have absolutely no control over it, same as all the unnecessary costs listed above. Focus on what you can do, not on what you can't.

Again, cities/counties/states that actually are cost-conscious, the ones that DON'T allow costs to get out of control, well, they're growing. Maybe it's time for NYS to STOP leading and START following.

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Jan-23-14 8:22 AM

captain has it right. the labor, the teachers and the unions are driivng up school costs. The local people here believe the cronig lie of liberal largess. . That you tax and spend your way to prosperity.we have seen hospitals in buffalo close. Other public schools close and merge. The locals here just dont get it. there are no young ones in the population pipeline. the schools must merge or bankrupt.

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Jan-23-14 7:11 AM

I agree with the concept, but must point out that at least in NYS, the people doing the work any and all agencies are responsible for aren't the problem, it's the almost unbelievable excess of upper level management and political hack appointees in Albany that are driving up the costs for services. I'm sure many of you have heard the old adage that it takes 10 rear echelon troops to support one in the field? That's not true in NEED, but is in practice, and also the same pattern in State employment.

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Jan-23-14 6:36 AM

When a private business is losing money and feels it's exhausted all its options, labor costs is the only option left, and it either cuts those costs or it closes.

The public sector doesn't work this way. Public workers refuse to admit the one common denominator that's causing high property taxes & population decline for most poorer munis is labor costs. Reducing staff to achieve a targeted savings, which is the norm, isn't the answer b/c that merely sacrifices services (ie; reduced production). Companies don't prosper by decreasing production, and neither do munis by cutting services.

It's not about what public workers deserve, it's what taxpayers can afford or are willing to pay. There is much waste in Albany, but to keep blaming Albany does nothing but disguise poor local leadership. Focus on savings that can be controlled locally and stop blaming Albany, we get enough excuses from Goodell.

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