Raising taxes is easy

Jul 9, 2013


My topic this week is the county sales tax increase.

It seems the county would like more of your money by increasing the sales tax from 6.5 percent to 7 percent. The commissioners are not allowing the taxpayers to vote on the decision; instead, there will be public hearings so the taxpayers can voice their opinions about the increase. Most of the time, the public hearings are mandated and just a formality. The county commissioners will continue to do what they intended to do in the first place and that is to raise the sales tax. The commissioners claim they need money for renovations and repairs but will we be guaranteed that is where the money will go?

The county is losing almost a half a million dollars every year on the county nursing home for the past 11 years. No facility should be losing that kind of money year after year. A private company has taken over the management of the facility with the county paying $120,000 a year for management, plus, 25 percent of any profit the nursing home brings in under the new management.
As a taxpayer, I am not happy that we have to make up the nursing home’s losses while going further into debt each and every year. It is getting to a point where nursing homes are financially out of reach for most folks except for Medicaid patients where the government picks up the tab. The county needs to get out of the nursing home business because it keeps the county from placing money in other areas that need attention in the county. Eleven years is way too long to keep a failing facility on the books without making a decision to let it go once and for all. The taxpayer should be outraged by the financial loss and to know it has gone on for so many years left unchecked.

The county has $10.7 million of outstanding property taxes that has not been aggressively collected in the past. What happened to the extra money from the casino revenue that the county doesn’t care to share with the other entities in the county? The casino money has brought in $592,000 for the county since the casinos opened. The revenue is there, the county just needs to collect it.

Until next time, it is too easy to ask for more tax money than to look for ways to cut and save money.



hey, just do like the perkins police and perkins schools, let us know there will be a ballet, but don't tell us when. that way everything can get passed if they are the only ones who knows. can we trust government?


They won't be happy until they take everything you have!


The gov't is a losing entity! Why in the heck is the taxpayers subsidizing the nursing home? If it can't make it on it's own like a private one then either raise the rates or close it!

2cents's picture

I am curious if the county gets a portion from the state of the EBT cards swiped at the local grocery?


Re: "The county is losing almost a half a million dollars every year on the county nursing home for the past 11 years."

More than likely the majority of the cost of the residents' care is being funded through Medicaid.

Nationally, Medicaid has been gradually squeezing providers on re-imbursement and calling it cost reduction.

Obviously the payment reductions are being cost shifted to local taxpayers.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Woah, woah, woah, woah. I thought they were only eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse"? It seems awfully unfair, irresponsible, and shortsighted to...to...oh, I see now. This doesn't make sense, though. Why can't our massive Federal government chock full of experts manage a program that funds a small, county care facility?

Contango...I think...I think I am losing faith in my Federal government's ability to do what they say they can do... I mean, they are actually hurting us on a local level and making us fight and scrape among ourselves. Like we are some kind of, oh let's say "district", in a kind of game, one that starves us of resources. A "hunger" game?

Nah, that sounds ridiculous and will never fly.

The Big Dog's back

Stuff happens when the wealthy aren't taxed. When Corporations pay no tax someone has to make it up. Oh, that would be us in the local communities. The koch brother's dream is becoming reality with all the right wing sheep. Baaaaaaaah.


Funny, because the top 10% of earners in our great nation fork over 80% of the federal taxes paid in each year. Time for EVERYONE to start ponying up.

The Big Dog's back

Everyone pays local taxes if they have a job, even minimum wage earners. Some probably pay more in local taxes than some of the wealthy pay in Fed.

Darwin's choice

How's that "hope and change"working out for you?

The Big Dog's back

Great for me. I just want the next generation to have good paying jobs and opportunities. Don't you?



If you change with the times good paying jobs are plentiful. If your waiting for a good paying common laborer job it will be a long wait. If you pursue further education in technologies or health care the opportunities are there.

It takes some thought and effort to improve yourself. Waiting for the entitlement is over.

The Big Dog's back

Just so I know, what do you consider a good paying job.


IMO the question should be what have I done to deserve my pay? I grew up believing you had to earn it before you got it


Big Dog. A good paying job is a job that you live within the means of. Problem is NOBODY wants to do that anymore.

My parents have always had mediocre jobs, but they saved and lived within their means. They didn't buy cars when everyone else was. They didn't go on vacations all the time and blow their money on toys, clothes and entertainment.

They lived and saved having 2 mediocre jobs (barber and secretary). Self insured, self investing and they have done well because they didn't try to keep up with the Jones.

If you want it you have to earn it. This entitlement mentality and microwave generation of kids who want everything NOW without having to save or work for it, IS killing this nation.


If the government eliminated "waste, fraud, and abuse," there'd scarcely be anything left! That is, of course not a bad thing. But that's also why the government is GROWING, inefficiencies and expenses are mounting, and nobody in political power is inclined to do anything about it.

Okay, that last bit isn't entirely true. Government entities are perfectly willing to do something. Unfortunately, that typically means they're going to raise taxes which fixes nothing and, in fact, just provides that many more dollars to be subject to still more "waste, fraud, and abuse."

Obviously, the federal government is the poster child for that kind of thing. But let's not pretend that the lower level entities — just like Erie County — aren't perfectly willing to jump on the same battered bandwagon! I've come to believe that anybody actually QUALIFIED to run the government isn't inclined to deal with the filth endemic in the system which leaves us with who we've got: The unqualified and the dirty (not universally true, of course, but the exceptions are getting to be ever fewer and farther between).

The Answer Person

"Raising Taxes Is Easy"...but obviously posting a flattering photograph of the author is not.


I see the Register published your photo right above the Jeff Smith article on page 2. Is that a horses A#@'s

The Answer Person

That's yo mama.

J Cooper

These were the same county commissioners that have been applauded in this newspaper for living within their budget, easy to do when you raise your income to match your increased budget.


why is it these commissioners haven't gone after the taxes that are due and money that is owed BEFORE trying to add a 1/2 percent to any tax rate? I would like to see that happen first. Also, all the nursing homes in this area have medicare then medicaid. Medicare pays first. Medicaid pays secondary. If there are discrepancies they come from the billing of the management. They need to look at them and what is going on with their billing process.

Julie R.

I wouldn't trust ANY of the jokes in the county if God Himself told me to.

Pterocarya frax...

So let me get this straight. When Medicare/Medicaid were full of waste, fraud, and abuse, all you haters complained. Now that the government is cleaning up all the waste, you complain as well.

So the gist of the story is that you just want a big entity to complain about. The federal government makes a good boogeyman.

I think I got it now. Carry on.


Re: "The county has $10.7 million of outstanding property taxes that has not been aggressively collected in the past."

Govt. collects revenue like gathering water with a colander; it leaks through the holes (waste, fraud and abuse) but they're always crying for MORE and complaining that some aren't paying their FAIR SHARE.


Waste, fraud and abuse?

One can READILY assume that 10-20% of ANY Fed govt. program is fraught with it.

With Medicare/Medicaid for example the govt. practices what's called:

Pay and chase.

It pays out taxpayer money largely without much scrutiny, then if the payment was fraudulent, it goes after the criminals.

The govt. needs two sets of highly compensated bureaucrats - one set to pay, one set to chase.

Maybe the govt. needs to hire a third set to make sure that the other two are doing their jobs? :)


An increase in pay without an increase in productivity or high pay with low output is a recipe for financial and economic disaster.

Look at the "death spiral" in Italy:

High pay, low productivity and high unemployment.



A flax tax is needed in this nation. Along stopping subsidies that the upper groups/individuals get. Re. Big Dog..don't believe all you read here. One person had much help from his parents & grandparents. (Those that are from small towns know much about small buSINesses.) People really need to be forthright.

The Big Dog's back

Yeah I know he lives off his parents and grandparents money. That is why he talks about the estate tax all the time. Without inheritance, he'd be on welfare.

J Cooper

You want to tax "flax"?

J Cooper

Big Dog wants people to be paid what the government thinks they should make, not what they EARN.

The Big Dog's back

What have you "earned"?

J Cooper

I have earned everything I have with hard work, unlike some who survived as a political leach and union hack.