Niagara Gazette

Opinion

December 13, 2012

GUEST VIEW: Landfill move among wastes in county budget

Niagara Gazette — The primary reason I decided to get involved in county government was to protect the Town of Niagara and Niagara Falls taxpayers from the increasing tax rates that hurt our family budgets and hinder economic development. 

Although I am a new legislator, I intend to follow through on this pledge by fighting against a budget that increases your taxes yet again. 

A 3.7 percent proposed county property tax increase is unacceptable given that there are non-essential areas to be cut that will reduce the property tax levy the county will attempt to implement. These cuts are what Dennis Virtuoso, Owen Steed, and I will attempt to do next week.

One area that I have been deeply involved with is the county Refuse Disposal District. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Refuse Board. I am both pleased and disturbed with the budget put forth to the legislature for approval. I am pleased that we have proposed reducing the amount of funding the refuse district receives through property taxes by nearly 10 percent. That is great news to deliver in an era of ever increasing property taxes. We accomplish this mainly by reducing the workforce in the district through attrition as workers retire. This I wholeheartedly support as a means to reduce taxpayers bills. 

What is disturbing to me is the proposed plan to prematurely close a landfill before it has reached its capacity and shut off a valuable source of revenue that helps fund the district. This landfill also helps many small contractors around the county to dispose of their debris at a very reasonable price. Closing C&D Landfill will now add unnecessary costs to many of these small business owners that are already facing difficult economic times.

It has been well publicized that I support the county getting out of the landfill business over the next four years. However, to close a profitable site early is completely irresponsible and not in the best interests of the taxpayers and small business owners of this county.

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