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  State Mandates Fact Check
   
 

Background:        

The County Comptroller has continued to make inaccurate statements that “5 key state mandates have gone up 10 million dollars” to mislead the public about whether local governments and schools can reduce property taxes by sharing services.

Inaccurate Statement:

“In our county alone where Medicaid makes up seventy percent of our county property tax bill, appropriately labeled state mandated costs. This year alone, our mandates have gone up over 10 million dollars.” 

Comptroller Robert Antonacci, April 12th, 2017, Maxwell School of Citizenship

“Will a metropolitan government really cut our property taxes? Again, in Onondaga County our 5 key state mandates have gone up 10 million dollars in one year alone.”

Comptroller Robert Antonacci, April 12th, 2017, Maxwell School of Citizenship

“The bottom line is, is that we’ve got a substantial amount of state mandates that affect our property tax bill. They are up over 10 million dollars and yet everyone seems to think that local government is the problem. The math just doesn’t add up.”

Comptroller Robert Antonacci, April 24th, 2017, 570 WSYR News

Facts:

The statements above by the Comptroller are false.

Onondaga County’s use of local tax dollars for Unfunded State Mandates in 2017 has not “gone up 10 million dollars”. In fact, the 2017 County budget will spend $172.4 million for Unfunded State Mandates, which is $3 million less than what we taxed for in the 2013 budget.
Thanks to State mandate relief, the County’s last four budgets have all used less property tax and sales tax revenues to pay for the County’s “unfunded” share of State mandates than it did in 2013:

 

 

 

2013 Adopted

2014 Adopted

2015 Adopted

2016 Adopted

2017 Adopted

Mandated Programs (Local Share)

176.4

171.0

173.1

169.2

172.4

 
Although the County Comptroller does not specify which are our “5 key state mandates”, the County’s “local share” of the five largest Mandates Programs has also remained lower than in 2013.

 

2013 Adopted

2014 Adopted

2015 Adopted

2016 Adopted

2017 Adopted

Mandated Programs (Local Share)

176.4

171.0

173.1

169.2

172.4

Administration

14.5

14.3

14.8

17.0

20.6

Medicaid

104.6

101.1

102.1

97.9

98.9

Temporary Assistance

18.5

17.2

17.0

17.5

16.8

Child Welfare Programs

9.8

9.2

11.4

11.8

10.7

Legal Aid

5.9

6.4

6.2

6.4

6.5

Special Children Services

16.9

17.4

17.3

16.1

16.5

Other

6.2

5.5

4.3

2.6

2.3

"Top 5"

164.3

159.21

162.62

160.29

163.58

 

State mandates accounted for approximately 41.3% of local dollar costs in 2017 as shown in section 2, page 32 of the 2017 adopted budget. When compared to years 2015 and 2016, the percentages were 42.6% and 41.2% respectively.  

Supporting Documentation:

ocfintax.ongov.net/imate/search.aspx (to access your own property tax bill)

2014 Adopted Budget (page 82)

2015 Adopted Budget (page 77)

2016 Adopted Budget (page 70)

2017 Adopted Budget (page 66)

 

 

   
 
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