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December 2015 Column - County Budget Passed with Second Consecutive Tax Cut


We’ve all read the stories in the paper of the countless individuals suffering from the ongoing opioid epidemic. There has been a lot of talk of families being ripped apart by this tragedy, too often we hear talk but see little action.

Legislator Ted Morton joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam Stoltman to announce continued funding for school resource officers (SRO) in several local districts. The SRO program provides a uniformed officer in schools as a way to promote student safety, conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives.

At a Legislative session held on September 21, 2017, Legislator Ted Morton honored Lancaster resident, Dick Young as the September 2017 Citizen of the month.

Today, in response to the County Executive’s offer to work with Legislator Morton to develop a compromise Made in America Act, Legislator Ted Morton wrote to him to begin the process.

Legislator Ted Morton first introduced the Made in America Act in support of local manufacturers and local workers in Erie County. After passing the Legislature by a vote of 9-1, the County Executive vetoed the law after instructing the County Attorney to draft a legal opinion.

As I wrap up my first term as your County Legislator, I’m happy to report that the adopted 2016 budget reduces the tax rate for the second consecutive year.

The County Executive presented a budget that had no change in that tax rate but the Majority Caucus examined the budget and was able to cut $1.5 million allowing for a decrease in the tax rate. We didn’t become one of the highest taxed communities overnight, through the years we saw incremental increases every year and now we’ve begun to reverse that process reducing the tax rate incrementally two years in a row. I will continue to fight to reduce county taxes every year that I am in office.

With rising sales tax revenue, continued property assessment growth, and projected lower pension costs to the county, I’m confident that we will be able to continue the trend of lowering our county’s tax rate.

Our Republican-aligned majority focused on finding areas in the budget to cut, including the elimination of several proposed new county jobs and the cutting of associated fringe benefits. Out of respect to you, the taxpayers, who continue to struggle to make ends meet, creating these positions at your expense was not necessary. We also eliminated duplicative programs in order to become more efficient.

We also provided funding to several organizations, including Plymouth Crossroads in Lancaster, the Hull Family Home, the General Pulaski Association, the Polish American Congress, the Cheektowaga Symphony Orchestra, and the Lancaster Rural Cemetery. In addition, we approved resources to the Sheriff’s Office to hire two new deputies in the Narcotics Unit that will focus on addressing the ongoing heroin/opioid epidemic that continues to plague our community. We added new positions in the Department of Social Services to ensure our most vulnerable residents are receiving the assistance and support they need.

Our Majority Caucus has proven that we can invest in key programs, increase infrastructure and cultural spending, and cut the tax rate two years in a row. I look forward to starting my second term as your Legislator in January!

I’d also like to thank residents for participating in my annual food drive to benefit the Alden-Marilla Food Pantry, the Tri-Community Food Pantry, and the Trinity Food Pantry. If you’d like to participate, my office, the Lancaster Senior Center, Cheektowaga Senior Center, Alden Town Hall, and Alden Chamber of Commerce are continuing to collect non-perishable goods until Monday, Dec. 14. Thank you for generosity and continued support. I wish you and your family and very happy holiday season! As always, if I can ever be of assistance, please call me at 858-8856 or email