Immediate Release

Thursday, February 22, 2007 

Picente Calls for End to ‘Back-Door Tax’

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., today announced that he has written an urgent letter to Gov. Eliot Spitzer calling for an end to a back-door tax that threatens to cost Oneida County taxpayers millions of dollars.

Picente said Oneida County is being billed retroactively for services provided for young people from the county in state Office of Children and Family Services youth facilities. What’s worse, Picente noted, the Office of Children and Family Services is looking to collect what it now says it should receive from as far back as 2001. Bills from 2006 alone could reach $1.1 million, with the overall bill for all years covered reaching up to $5 million.

On behalf of the taxpayers of Oneida County who deserve relief from another back-door tax imposed by the state of New York , I am calling for your intervention in an issue that would have serious negative impacts on Oneida County and all of the counties of New York State ,” Picente wrote the governor.

“How can we revive an economy in our Upstate counties when the state is placing burdens like this on the backs of taxpayers who have had enough?” Picente wrote, adding: “It is unconscionable to be telling county taxpayers that the executive branch of state government will be lowering their property taxes with one hand while the bureaucracy you as governor ultimately oversee and must rein in demands payments that will increase the tax burden of property taxpayers. Forget the government-speak of retroactive billing. This is very simply a back-door tax that is one more burden placed upon the people of Oneida County by a state government that has a long history of this type of bureaucratic taxation that takes away what the other hand gives.”

“This back-door taxation has to stop,” Picente wrote. “The place to stop out-of-control burdens on local governments and local taxpayers is here and now. I call upon you to review this matter and take urgent action that will eliminate the potential of millions of dollars in back-door taxation being taken from our taxpayers.”