We could not agree more. In fact we wish we had written this. But alas, we did not, instead leaving it to the next generation to point out what we should all already know. It is indeed time to move ahead as a country united, instead of a country divided.
We would also like to suggest that during the ongoing budget process that Otsego County work toward a united goal of serving the needs of the residents of the county. We fully understand the angst that the county’s decision to sell Otsego Manor has generated. It is indeed difficult for those dependent upon the Manor for their home to envision losing it. At the same time, we do think it would have been helpful if the county had done a much, much better job of explaining the situation. There would seem to be all sorts of unanswered questions, paramount among them an explanation of exactly what the county will and what it will not save with such a sale. This is a very complicated situation, the details of which seem to have been glossed over which makes it hard to really reach a decision based on the proposal’s merit.
Likewise, we are rather bemused by talk of raising the county sales tax as an alternative to raising property taxes to balance next year’s county budget. In a Nov. 8, article in the Daily Star titled “Tax hike could cover Manor costs,” written by Joe Mahoney, it was pointed out that:
“More than all surrounding counties, Otsego County derives a higher share of its overall revenue from sales tax, as a result of tourism driven by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and other attractions largely clustered in the Cooperstown area.”
It continued with “Board members have expressed reluctance to enact a budget that goes above the state’s 2 percent property tax cap, saying they want to spare homeowners from escalating property taxes. Part of the tab for a higher sales tax would be picked up by tourists.”