County encourages state to provide more significant mandate relief

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Administrator Phil Church presented members of the legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee a draft resolution asking the state to finish the job it began in April and provide more significant and sustainable mandate relief to counties.

During Monday’s meeting, Church said the resolution addresses Medicaid and state retirement.

“Using the letter that they sent to us, the state health department is only taking over the state portion of Medicaid,” Church said.

Mandates consume 82 percent of the county’s annual budget and the Medicaid mandate alone is 58 percent of the entire property tax levy.

The three-year phase out of county-paid Medicaid growth will cost the county taxpayers an additional $500,000 in 2013 and an additional $250,000 in 2014.

“Taxpayers will send one-half million dollars to Albany every week,” Church said.

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