Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Does this Make Sense?

I need your help as kindly, well-meaning, friendly editors....ones, who understand tax structure and ramifications better than I do....preferably before tomorrow morning....thanks!
What I'm looking for is whether my conclusions...that Obamacare will affect property taxes, because of the Medicaid mandate...are correct.

Will the Affordable Health Care Act, often nicknamed Obamacare, affect property taxes for farmers and town folks here in NYS? Combine these two quotes and see if you come up with the same conclusion as I did.
First, from a flier by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors, which was included in each landowner’s tax bill.
“NYS Medicaid Mandate: NYS has the most expensive Medicaid program in the nation. State legislators have authorized optional services for recipients that exceed what is required by federal regulations. Spending per recipient is the highest in the country and nearly exceeds those of California and Texas combined. NY is one of only a few states that mandate county governments to pay a portion of the State's cost. In 2013 about 49% of the property tax you pay will pay just one bill-Medicaid"
(According to the NY State Department of Health, Medicaid in the state spends “ $53 billion to serve 5 million people.)
Next, a quote from the dairy farming magazine, Top Producer, detailing how the new law (Obamacare) will affect dairy farmers.
 “The law will also extend Medicaid coverage and insurance subsidies to all low-income Americans.”
Combining the two quoted stories, it would seem that if Medicaid will be offered to more people across the country. If even part of the additional cost is passed along to counties, at least here in NY, then the answer may indeed be yes.
In the county to our north, unfunded state-mandated programs account for 80% of the property tax levy. Here in Montgomery County the same mandates are likely to have a similar effect on the amount of hard-earned cash land and home owners need to pony up each year.
Farmers are particularly likely to feel an extra pinch, since they generally pay taxes on large acreage in order to grow crops and/or feed animals.


Cathy said...

It's so dark.

I hope someone can answer your questions.

Ruth said...

I think that if its going to cost the county and/or state more, and they have a legal right to use income from property taxes to pay for it, then yes, there is a serious possibility that at some point in the near future property taxes will go up to help compensate.....this IS NY after all....

joated said...

That was a rhetorical question, wasn't it? Nothing about this omnibus healthcare bill is what they said it would be, including the word "Affordable" in its title.

Terry and Linda said...

I think you have said it correctly...we are going under the bus.


threecollie said...

Cathy, I was hoping someone who knew more than I do would have an answer. Alas, this is to be part of this week's Farm Side...I just sent it as is. We shall see...

Ruth, it seemed to me, judging by the insert in tax bills and the wording of the article that this is certainly a possibility. I'm sure if I'm wrong someone will set me straight.

joated, yeah, I'm looking forward to affording health insurance, which has gone up in price by double digits since we discovered that we couldn't afford it years ago and stopped having it.

Linda, yup, it sure looks that way