Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,I-Lockport) joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua), colleagues from the Assembly Minority Conference and others at a press conference today calling for a state takeover of counties’ share of Medicaid costs – the driving force behind the state’s notoriously high property taxes.
“One of my priorities in seeking elected office was to fight on behalf of the taxpayers of Western New York and provide real relief. Our plan to phase out the local share of Medicaid costs is an important step toward providing that tax relief, creating jobs, creating efficiencies and doing all of this without cutting services in the program,” said Norris.
The first leg of the Conference’s reform package (A.9901), the state takeover of counties Medicaid costs would save taxpayers $5.9 billion annually once fully implemented. Details of the plan include the state assuming costs from counties upstate within 10 years and New York City within 20 years. Norris and his colleagues said there was more than enough revenue in the state’s budget to take over the costs, long considered by counties as the number one unfunded mandate behind high property taxes.