Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Democrats: Brooks Hides $5 million Snow Tax in 2013 Budget

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Rochester, New York – November 28, 2012.  Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature today said that Maggie Brooks either deliberately misled residents or she is not aware of what is contained in her 2013 Budget. When asked on November 13 about the contents of her budget, Brooks said “I don’t believe there are any new chargebacks…” Last night her administration admitted that is not true.

As a result of questioning from Legislator Josh Bauroth (D-Rochester, Brighton), the administration revealed that town taxpayers will be saddled with a $5 million new tax on their property tax bills. In an effort to artificially keep the tax rate at $8.99 the administration decided to move the funding source for snow and ice removal in the towns from the tax levy to a separate line on tax bills.

“It is truly unfortunate that this administration refuses to level with the people of this county. Instead of fessing up and saying they needed to raise taxes to balance their budget, they have again played budgetary games to keep the tax rate ‘stable’ while simultaneously raising the total amount taxpayers must pay,” Legislator Bauroth said. “By their own admission, tax bills will rise just from this new snow tax. Instead of deceiving the people of this county, it’s time for this administration to change course and start being straight forward.” 

Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said, “The County Executive maintained again this year that she has kept taxes flat in the 2013 budget. This has clearly been shown to be false. Local residents will see their tax bills rise because of this new snow removal tax. It is long past time for the County Executive to be transparent and forthcoming with the community so that we can begin to have a meaningful discussion about how to fund this county’s operations while also being respectful to taxpayers.”