Rochester does not get its fair share from New York State. The state gives Buffalo $623 per resident in direct aid. Syracuse gets $496 and Rochester gets $419. The city is also held to the Maintenance of Effort legislation, which requires it to give far more to schools than Buffalo and Syracuse. These disparities inflate property taxes in Rochester. This is unacceptable.
The state must recognize that its policies over the last 50 years led to the flight of residents and decline of the tax base. Rochester will do its part to cut spending and attract businesses and residents. But the state must play a stronger role, righting decades of wrongs that have led to economic and racial segregation.
This is another argument for cutting Rochester’s property taxes. Buffalo collects the same in property taxes, even though it has 50,000 more residents. The disparity in aid hits Rochester residents right in their wallets. We will draw a line in the sand. Our residents are burdened and cannot afford our current high taxes. Our city is not growing. It’s time the state step up and give Rochester the same amount of money it gives other struggling Upstate cities.