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Letter: Orchard Park asked Cuomo to assess effects of tax cap

Orchard Park asked Cuomo to assess effects of tax cap

I would like to respond to the Jan. 15 News editorial, “Honor the tax cap,” regarding an initiative of the Orchard Park Town Board relating to the state’s tax cap. Fact is, we need more substantive discussions about New York’s excessive taxes, which drive businesses and residents away. They are, indeed, “destructive.”

The editorial admonishes that “leaders need to get their minds right,” strongly suggesting that our concerns are wrongheaded. The truth is that leaders must do more than align their minds; they must also voice and do what is right for taxpayers. This includes especially Albany, which legislates the lion’s share of property taxes.

It’s disconcerting that the editorial sets up a “straw man” to knock down. Truth is, our letter (www.orchardparkny.org) thanks the governor for his “determination to bring tax relief,” referencing the tax cap as perhaps “the most impactful” of his efforts. It ends by asking him to assess the effects of the cap with a view to improving it. In between are no alleged “fighting” words or demand for flexibility or higher taxes. Nor does it contain the earlier News article’s alleged “protest” against the cap. Quite contrary to being an “anti-tax cap effort,” our initiative is pro-tax cap.

Our nation’s founders intended the media to function as watchdogs on government, a role Americans strongly support to this day. It is surprising, therefore, that the editorial would strongly discourage local officials, those closest to the people they represent, from speaking to big government about their concerns. Dialogue leads to learning, which in turn often leads to positive change. What is “good” is not necessarily the “best.” I submit that our citizens deserve all our efforts to achieve the latter, especially when it comes to their tax dollars.

Mike Sherry

Council Member

Town of Orchard Park