Paying for health care, holding down taxes

| 22 Feb 2012 | 02:36

    At an early October public hearing for the 2011 Town of Monroe budget, I introduced much-needed health insurance policy changes to require previously exempt Monroe employees to contribute 15 percent, on average, toward the premiums for health care coverage. New York’s present budget crisis including its towns and villages could persist for years. The taxpayer is in revolt. Government has failed to take the lead in addressing unpopular issues like employee health insurance costs and the burdens it places on the average homeowner. If private industry requires employee contributions, why should government expect the taxpayer to keeping footing the entire bill? According to the Nov. 7th Rockefeller Institute of Government report, “state employees and retirees contribute 18% of premiums for health insurance, but in most municipalities the contribution is none to minimal.” By requiring non-union employee participation, we are projecting a taxpayer saving of approximately $40,000, or roughly a 1.5 percent savings in the town budget. While the state of New York “studies” the problem, we are facing the challenge and I trust the Town Board will do what is best for their residents and support me on finding “remedies with reason” to help our over-taxed community. Keep coming to the Town Board meetings. Your voices are making a difference. Harley E. Doles III Acting Supervisor Town of Monroe