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Our County Legislature’s most important function is to allocate County resources in ways that meet the needs and values of our residents.  Not surprisingly, when our needs are many and our resources are relatively few, our values tend to get short shrift.

Tompkins County now face increasingly scarce resources under a Federal government that shows little interest in our natural, social, and cultural environments, and a State government that sometimes seems determined to bankrupt our counties.  We had to use 68% of last year’s county property tax levy to pay for unfunded mandates.  Because of New York State’s “system” for funding Medicaid, we used fully 24% of last year’s property tax levy to pay for Medicaid services provided in Tompkins County. If Congressional Republicans succeed in implementing block grant funding for Medicaid, our county share of Medicaid funding could increase even more.  What will we do then?  We cannot increase property taxes by any substantial amount: our citizens are already burdened with very high property taxes, and that burden was effectively increased by the limitation on SALT deductions imposed by Federal tax legislation passed in 2017.  At the same time, we cannot deny health care services to our residents who need them.

How we overcome the challenge of resource scarcity while maintaining the quality of life we all value will set our County’s course for years to come.  I believe the key to meeting these challenges is to build a strong, sustainable, independent economy here in Tompkins County.  That means not only increasing our tax base, but also using every means at our disposal to create jobs that pay a living wage or better, to promote our flagging retail sector, to underwrite construction of affordable and work force housing, and to expand public transit services throughout Tompkins County.  When everyone in Tompkins County thrives, everyone contributes to growing county revenues.

We have a LOT of work to do!

 


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Deborah’s recent Facebook posts are shared, below.

Deborah Dawson - TC Legislator for District 10

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Last night the Tompkins County Legislature made history. Our appointed interim chair, Shawna Black, handed the chairmanship off to Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, the first woman of color to ever hold that position. Although I honored my commitment to vote for Mike Lane, I am happy to have our legislative deadlock resolved in Leslyn's favor, and I fully support her as she takes the reins, ... See MoreSee Less

Last night the Tompkins County Legislature made history.  Our appointed interim chair, Shawna Black, handed the chairmanship off to Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, the first woman of color to ever hold that position.  Although I honored my commitment to vote for Mike Lane, I am happy to have our legislative deadlock resolved in Leslyns favor, and I fully support her as she takes the reins,

Posted 5 days ago

Deborah Dawson - TC Legislator for District 10

Let your State representatives know that you want them to Keep the Cap!Hey, its #MedicaidTuesday everyone! Tompkins County sends $219,478.00 from property taxpayers to Albany every Tuesday to pay for New York State's cost of #Medicaid. That's $1,536,346 so far in 2020! The Governor's Executive Budget proposes to take even more! #KeeptheCap. ... See MoreSee Less

Let your State representatives know that you want them to Keep the Cap!

Comment on Facebook

Thanks Deborah- keep up the good work.

Tompkins County is in dire need of census takers. And the government is paying well. ... See MoreSee Less

Tompkins County is in dire need of census takers.  And the government is paying well.