State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) citing the tremendous burden on taxpayers as a result of escalating Medicaid costs, hailed the recently enacted Medicaid Cap and State takeover of a portion of the local share of Medicaid costs as successful tax relief policies. Under the new policies, counties thoughout New York State will realize a cumulative total of $6.5 billion in savings over the next five years beginning in 2006.
"As State lawmakers, it is our responsibility to relieve the tax burden on our residents, not increase that burden," stated Senator Bonacic. "The new Medicaid policies will assist us in achieving that goal."
Specifically, the new policies phases in a Medicaid cap over three years based on a county’s 2005 Medicaid spending levels and establishes a cap of 3.5 percent beginning in State fiscal year 2005-06, 3.25 percent in 2006-07, and 3 percent in 2007-08. The plan will be fully implemented in 2008 when counties will have a permanent Medicaid cap not to exceed 3 percent annually. Furthermore, an additional $25 million in State support will be distributed among the counties outside of New York City, where the property tax burden is the greatest.
According to the State Division of the Budget, the estimated breakdown of savings for the counties in the 42nd Senate District are as follows:
COUNTY SAVINGS IN 2005-06 2006-07
Delaware County $251,599 $1.31 million
Orange County $981,759 $5.09 million
Sullivan County $304,545 $1.58 million
Ulster County $380,840 $1.97 million
"It is my hope that the resulting savings from these plans will help counties formulate sound budgets that restrain spending growth and ultimately reduce the property tax burden on our residents," concluded Senator Bonacic.