Medicaid Changes Could Mean Lower Property Taxes

September 28, 2011 Updated Sep 28, 2011 at 7:04 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

September 28, 2011 Updated Sep 28, 2011 at 7:04 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY

Republican Senator Patrick Gallivan and democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin introduced a new law in Albany earlier this week.
Senate Bill 5889B would eventually eliminate county contributions to Medicaid.

Here is the plan if it is passed:

Effective January 1, 2012 there would be an immediate freeze on the rate local governments contribute to Medicaid.

October 1, 2012, local funding of the program would be reduced by five percent. Each year after that contributions would continue to be reduced with the total cost of funding Medicaid being paid entirely by the state by 2019.

In Erie County alone, nearly 95 percent of property taxes are used to fund Medicaid. Local lawmakers argue having the state take over the cost would free up more money for things like senior and youth services, roads, and parks and recreation.

Currently, Medicaid costs the state $44 billion a year. In the next five years the state will take over 100 percent of the administration the program, with county governments completely out of the loop.

This is why the new bill calls for the state to bear the complete financial burden.