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Poll results: What to do about property taxes

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Almost five hundred votes, most agree on “the big three”

Medicaid reform, public school mergers, and consolidation of local governments each recieved about 27% of the vote

By Andrew Harris

Allegany County doesn’t make national news very often. On the subject of taxation, Allegany county routinely makes the list of the highest property taxes in the United States.

This poll focuses on a recent national list, placing Allegany County with the second highest “effective property tax rate,” in the nation. The term “effective” reflects a tax rate in relative to the average income in Allegany County, a population with one of the lowest average incomes in New York State.

Since the time that our property taxes started to become a sore subject, county residents, business owners, and elected officials have asked: “What can we do to lower taxes?”

Our poll results were more a confirmation of the “big three” answers to that question over the decades. Medicaid reform, public school mergers, and consolidation of local governments each recieved about 27% of the vote. Very few felt that privatization was a viable solution, and very few felt that the question was “much ado about nothing.” In fact one legislator quipped, “those 21 votes were clearly from the fifteen legislators and a few of their spouses.”

What is most interesting about this poll was that ten percent of the respondents provided custom ideas for lowering property taxes. Here are some of the best of that bunch:

“we should not have to pay taxes if we don’t have children in school”

“Address blight”

“Lower them …it’s simply ridiculous”

“All above except last item. Plus its time for upstate to break from nyc/long island”

“Universal healthcare for all”

“except for road crews – country roads will suffer”

“Get a new assessor,this one is did nothing but triple our taxes, time to leave!”

“Quit giving such high raises to upper management”

“Have an opt out option on the library tax if you’ve never used it why should you”

“Consolidate schools, County NORTH and County SOUTH”

“I think, to a certain degree, all the above can be modified for relief”

“How long has Allegany county been run by republicans? Time for a change”

“share sales tax with towns”

“Reduce County Government, do we need 15-County Legislators for 45,000 people”

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