If you live in Erie County, New York, a recent report released by a Washington-based tax research group confirms what you already know – your property taxes are among the highest in the nation.
This recently released report gives Erie County and other surrounding counties in Western New York the dubious distinction of being among the top ten counties in the country with the highest median real estate taxes expressed as a percentage of home value.
Local business leaders were quick to point out that Erie County residents don’t need a study to tell them that property taxes are out of whack. However, the report does highlight just how high Erie County property taxes are when compared with the rest of the country.
The report showed that Erie County property taxes are the 6th highest in the nation with property taxes that are 2.6% of the median home value in the area. New York State dominated the list with 9 out of 10 counties named as having the highest property taxes in the country.
Fortunately, Erie County executive Chris Collins is paying some attention to the situation. His 2011 proposed budget keeps Erie County property taxes flat. The county is even using Lean Six Sigma – a process improvement discipline used by many corporations - to produce over $6 million in savings from various projects that will analyze waste and inefficiency.
The latest Erie County budget calls for 223 layoffs in order to balance the budget and to avoid raising property tax rates in the coming year.
Although some of the actions required in Erie County may be painful, none of these steps to control spending seem drastic given the fact that the county has one of the highest property tax rates in the country.
While these budget cuts may help balance the budget without raising property taxes, it appears that even further spending reductions will be required in order for Erie County to exit that elite group of top ten counties with the highest property taxes in the country!