Picente Statement On State Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Report

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. has released the following statement in regards to Comptroller Dinapoli’s Fiscal Stress Report claiming Oneida County susceptible to fiscal stress based on local government’s or school district’s inability to generate enough revenues within its current fiscal period to meet its expenditures

“The Comptroller’s report merely points out what we already know. Local governments are under an enormous amount of fiscal pressure regardless of their actions. In my time as County Executive we have had 4 credit ratings upgrades, reduced employee positions, kept taxes low, share more services than ever and consolidated major functions of government. In addition we have paid off a ballooning state retirement obligation that has reached over $60 million. We have also created fund balances that have been as high as 40 million.

The real issue facing county’s fiscal reality is state mandates combined with a mandated property tax cap. When the state legislature imposed a property tax cap on local municipalities it came with a promise of mandate relief. We are still waiting. There are 9 major state mandated programs that eat up more than Oneida County’s entire property tax levy. The Comptroller should acknowledge that fact and work with the State Legislature to eliminate the unfair burden placed on local taxpayers. I look forward to the first step in the process when Governor Cuomo signs the bill for the State takeover of indigent defense. 1 program down, 8 more to go.”