Franklin County board may educate voters on state mandates

MALONE – Taxpayers might be getting a pie chart with their tax bills next tax season.

At a Franklin County legislators meeting Thursday, the board discussed inserting information on state mandates faced by the county with tax bills.

Legislator Tim Burpoe, D-Saranac Lake, head of the board’s Finance Committee, proposed the inserts.

“There are nine mandates required by the state of New York that take up 90 percent of our budget,” Burpoe told the Enterprise in a phone interview Monday. “It’s just more of an educational thing because we always get a lot of questions about what the county government does.”

Burpoe said he is envisioning a pie chart that illustrates how a dollar is spent by the county board. The board agreed that was a good idea.

“We’ve talked about it the three years I’ve been here,” board Chairman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay, told the board. “We’re doing this to educate taxpayers. We sit here and we scream and pound and shout about state mandates and other things we’re under the gun with, services we have to provide to certain constituents. We feel the taxpayer, not that they don’t understand what we’re saying, but the impact of what we’re saying really doesn’t hit home with them on what we’re up against with these mandates and everything else that’s piled on.”

Burpoe said he estimates the inserts might cost $200 to create.

“When (taxpayers) open up their tax bills, they’ll have that information right there in front of them,” Jones told the board. “I encourage anybody that wants to get a hold of anybody here to do that, but they’ll have the information that we have. It’s going to be so much easier for us and for them to understand what we’re up against if they can look at it. That’s all we want. We feel the taxpayers deserve it, and we deserve it.”

Legislator Gordon Crossman, D-Malone, agreed and added that the insert should be kept short and to the point.

“I think it’s a very important thing to educate people on where their dollars are going,” Crossman said.

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or