Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I,Ref-Ballston) today called for a state takeover of Medicaid costs in an effort to ease oppressive tax burdens that have hampered statewide localities and plagued working-class families in both upstate and downstate New York. The proposal, unveiled by Walsh and her Assembly Minority colleagues at a press conference held at the state Capitol on March 12, would provide a state-funded takeover of the entire share of Medicaid funding mandated to counties outside New York City over the next 10 years. In addition the Assembly Republicans’ plan would eliminate 50 percent of New York City’s Medicaid costs over a 20-year period.
New York’s localities currently cover $8.2 billion of the state’s non-federal Medicaid costs, a share disproportionate to the rest of the nation which has led to higher property taxes statewide. This measure would also result in an immediate reduction in property taxes.
Having had extensive experience in both local and county government, previously serving on the Ballston Town Board, Saratoga County I.D.A. and the Town of Ballston Planning and Zoning Boards, Walsh has seen firsthand the crippling effect that unfunded mandates such as these can have on our localities. In 2018, it is projected that $60.7 million will be used to fund these mandates in Saratoga County, an appropriation in excess of the county’s entire property tax revenue.
“New York’s Medicaid program is the second-most costly in the nation, and it’s high time that we take action to relieve this tremendous burden on our state’s hardworking families,” said Walsh. “Today’s proposed state takeover of locally-mandated Medicaid costs offers an opportunity to truly make a positive difference for New Yorkers, and I urge our legislative colleagues to join us in our commitment to providing much-needed tax relief to our localities.”