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Diana's letter on sales tax

Diana's letter on sales tax

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Orange County Executive Ed Diana's letter to mayors and supervisors suggests legislators are considering diverting sales tax revenue to fund Valley View.
Orange County Executive Ed Diana's letter to mayors and supervisors suggests legislators are considering diverting sales tax revenue to fund Valley View.

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Published by: thrnewsdesk on Oct 18, 2012
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10/18/2012

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EDWARD A.

DIANA
COUNTY EXECUTIVE

October 17, 2012 Mayors and Supervisors Orange County Municipalities

Dear Orange County Mayors and Supervisors: On Friday, September 28, I presented the proposed County budget for fiscal year 2013 to the Orange County Legislature and the people of Orange County. I know that many of you were present for the budget presentation; thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me for what was the most difficult budget to prepare in my 11 years as County Executive. Nearly three-quarters of our total budget is consumed by state and federal mandates, leaving little left over to do the necessary County business for the people of Orange County. Much of the budget discussion focused on the past, present, and future of the County-run nursing home, Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. Throughout my administration, I have alerted County Legislators to the very real and burdensome financial challenges presented to the County by the continued operation of Valley View. In 2003, I sent a letter to all Valley View residents and family members alerting them to the financial pressures we faced at the nursing home. In 2005, the County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution urging the Governor of New York to do something about the financial crisis faced at Valley View. And, last year, in my budget presentation, when we were being faced with using $19 million in County tax dollars in order to sustain Valley View, I announced that we would defund it by July 2012 and move toward selling the facility. Through privatization of Valley View, we would be able to maintain the care, service, and jobs here in Orange County for the people of Orange County. Privatization is the way that counties throughout New York State are moving because continuing to maintain public nursing homes is simply unsustainable. Costs are skyrocketing, reimbursements are declining, and the state, quite frankly, no longer wants counties in the business of running nursing homes. As I’m sure you are aware, some Orange County Legislators, who do not have a realistic grasp of the facts, figures, and real costs of operating Valley View, are pushing to maintain the nursing home as a county-run facility, rather than preserving the care and service, but not the overwhelming financial burden, through privatization. These legislators are looking for other ways to support the growing financial needs of Valley View.

ORANGE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER

GOSHEN, NEW YORK 10924

T EL: 845-291-2700

F AX: 845-291-2724

One method that has been put forth by certain legislators is to revise the County’s longstanding sales tax sharing agreement with our municipalities. Rather than distribute your city, town, or village’s full share of the $70 million sales tax revenue, these legislators recommend reducing, or even eliminating, your share and diverting the money to support Valley View. I have included the 2013 Projected Sales Tax Municipal Distribution chart for your review, so you may see the direct impact such a change in distribution would have on your municipality. Let me assure you that I am not in favor of adjusting this sales tax revenue distribution agreement. I believe it will seriously jeopardize the financial security of our municipalities, which is already tenuous, at best, for some in Orange County. If you agree, and would like to preserve your municipality’s share of the sales tax revenue, please contact your County legislators and let them know that the unsustainable financial drain Valley View is placing on our County is unacceptable and simply outrageous. Urge your legislator to save your municipality and our County from bankruptcy by privatizing this facility; by doing so, they will preserve the care, service, and jobs for the people of Orange County. For more information, you can find the text and video of the 2013 budget presentation, as well as the proposed 2013 budget, on the County website at www.orangecountygov.com. I’m also happy to answer any questions you may have. My office can be reached at 291-2700. Sincerely,

Edward A. Diana County Executive P.S. Some Orange County supervisors, including your own Association president, have already taken a position regarding the future of Valley View without fully understanding the facts. In recent articles, he has taken a stance to keep the County-run nursing home open for a minimum of two years. Speak with your peers and make sure they understand the big picture and what it means for your municipality. EAD/kj Encs. cc: Municipal Board Members

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