Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Poor Mouthing

So Mayor Duffy went off to the Capitol yesterday to panhandle for more money again . This has become an annual pilgrimage by Duffy, as it was with Mayor Johnson before him.

We hope he succeeds, but it brings up the issue of a certain kind of lack of accountability on the part of Rochester's City government. Yes, State funding per capita is lower for Rochester than for Syracuse and Buffalo. But don't shed too many tears for the City government as it whines about its lower state aid per person.

What we won’t hear from Mayor Duffy, or see reported in our totally unbiased Newspaper of Record, is the fact that the City of Rochester receives over $125 million in sales tax revenue from the County.

The Mayor and his cheering section at the Democrat and Chronicle never mention that when they talk about aid received by the City.

That's right, this year the City will receive over $125 million in revenue-sharing from Monroe County, on top of whatever they get from the State. That means the City of Rochester will actually get significantly more money than either Syracuse or Buffalo when you add up all the revenue sharing dollars it receives, both State and County.

In fact, when it comes to revenue sharing by county government, Syracuse and Buffalo don’t even come close. Here are the figures, based on 2008 estimated amounts for sales-tax sharing by counties:

  • Rochester to get from Monroe County:
  • Buffalo to get from Erie County
  • Syracuse to get from Onandaga County:

  • $125 million
    $65 million
    $61 million

    We understand why the City needs to poor-mouth it when going hat-in-hand to Albany. But our local media seem to never hold the City government to the same standard of accountability, for things like economizing and streamlining government, as they hold Monroe County. The enormous amount of county sales tax revenue the City receives, as compared with Syracuse or Buffalo, is never discussed. Only how much the City can beg from Albany and how it's treated so unfairly compared with the other upstate cities.

    And, of course, in discussing the County's budget woes, the press rarely mentions in the same article that if the County weren't so generous with its sales tax revenue to the City, it wouldn't have had budget problems to start with.

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