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Letter: County’s property tax chief needs to check his numbers

County’s property tax chief needs to check his numbers

It happens to me every year. Even as the doctor is taking my blood pressure, I worry not only that the results may not fall within the statistically healthy range, but that my apprehension may actually drive the numbers up. It happens again when we turn to reviewing my blood work. What will all those figures reveal about my personal health?

Similarly, as elected officials, my peers and I are constantly seeking out data in order to monitor the health of the community we were elected to serve. Whereas many are skeptical of statistics, we adhere to the business axiom that “what is not measured cannot be managed.” So when I read the summary conclusion of Joseph Maciejewski, the county’s director of Real Property Tax Services, in a Jan. 16 News article, I knew my blood pressure went up.

In comparing the county with city, town and school tax bills, he claimed: “When you look at your overall tax bill, the county portion is still the smallest portion that you pay.” So, confirming what I already knew to be the case, I went to the Erie County 2016 Annual Report of the Department of Real Property Tax Services and found that, overall, Orchard Park residents pay about 6 percent more to the county than to the town. Then, as he recommended, I located my personal tax bill and it verified that my wife and I pay significantly more to the county.

At least in the case of our residents and community, the county director delivered a wrong diagnosis. I recommend that any citizen concerned about his local property taxes get a second opinion.

Mike Sherry

Council Member

Town of Orchard Park

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