Two Cattaraugus County legislators want to cut the tax levy in next year's county budget by 5 percent, but the budget officer says that it is not likely to happen.
Legislators Larry G. Mack, D-Humphrey and Edward O'Dell, D-Salamanca, are joint sponsors of a resolution seeking the budget reduction.
The Legislature's Finance Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday evening to consider the proposal.
"It's a move in the right direction," Mack said Sunday. "The Republicans should want to cut taxes as well; it's an election year."
The terms of all 21 legislators expire Dec. 31. Three Democrats, including O'Dell, have indicated that they will not seek another four-year term.
Mack noted that in 1986, the county budget was $59 million, and the long-term debt was $1.74 million.
He pointed out that the budget increased to $100 million in 1994 and to $124.6 million this year, while the current debt is $65 million.
"The real property-tax levy cannot continue to rise," Mack said. "I don't see how we can continue to bring in new businesses without some type of tax relief."
The budget process for next year is under way, according to Donald E. Furman, budget officer and county administrator. He said he plans to unveil the new spending plan to legislators Oct. 20.
When asked about the Democrats' proposal to reduce the tax levy by 5 percent, Furman's reaction was: "I don't think much of it.
"We're faced with mandated salary increases and an increased cost of living," he said. "I don't think it's possible. We are just putting the requests from each department together. From there, I cut what I have to. My plan is to give legislators an honest budget."
Furman updated legislative leaders last week on the budget process.
"I told them it's under way," he said.
He said legislative leaders did not direct him to make any cuts at this time.
In another resolution facing lawmakers this week, Legislator James J. Snyder, R-Olean, wants the Public Works Committee to request money in next year's budget to update or replace welcome signs at each of the roadway entrances to the county.
The signs -- more than 16 years old -- have become worn and shabby, he said.
The Legislature's Development and Agriculture Committee, Snyder said, should decide whether a new logo or design should be placed on the updated signs.
The Finance and County Operations committees will consider two resolutions to transfer for $1 each two parcels totaling nearly seven acres near Main Street in the Village of Little Valley to the village.
The properties are the former public works facilities used by the county that have moved to a new building on Route 242.