WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 27) is throwing his support behind a fellow Republican’s plan to cut the cost of Medicaid from local governments.
On Tuesday Reed held a conference call with regional media and said he’s supporting Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence, NY 27) amendment to the proposed American Health Care Act, which both Reed and Collins claim would lessen the property tax burden across upstate New York.
“From my perspective, this would be a significant reduction in property taxes and we are fully supportive of that,” Reed said. “I have talked with so many seniors and parents and listened to folks express their concerns about the property taxes that continue to go through the roof here in New York State.”
Reed and Collins claim that the local share of Medicaid is what is driving the up the cost of local property taxes, and its time Congress steps in to provide relief.
“We have talked to county executives across the state and county leaders across the district and this is nearly, for some of the counties, close to 70 percent of the tax levy that the counties put forward each year – anywhere from 30 to 70 percent,” Reed said.
For the 2017 budget, Chautauqua County has $30.3 million allocated toward the local cost of Medicaid – about half of the estimated $60.9 million tax levy. However, when compared to total spending in the budget, Medicaid expenses cover 13 percent of all costs.
The Collins amendment was criticized this past weekend by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who said that removing the local share would drive up costs at the state level by $2.3 billion – meaning the state would likely have to find ways to offset that increase, including the possibility of reducing local aid.