LITTLE VALLEY - Cattaraugus County Administrator Jack Searles has told lawmakers unfunded state mandates have left them with "a structural inability" to pay for anything other than what the state dictates.
Searles released his tentative 2011 budget to lawmakers Wednesday, who will review and possibly change the spending plan before voting on it Nov. 23.
The state mandates, Searles said, have "gobbled" up funding in the $212.6 million Cattaraugus County budget that includes 17 layoffs, the curtailing of spending, uses undesignated fund balance and relies on a payment for hosting the Seneca Allegany Casino, which has not been made.
Searles said the amount of the budget to be made up by taxes has increased $1.3 million from last year to $47,483.
He said mandates from the state make up 76 percent of the budget and include $17 million in Medicaid, $2 million in pension costs, $267,679 in child welfare prevention, $33,000 in youth detention, $200,000 in community college chargebacks, $25,000 in public assistance, probation, special education costs and more.
The recently released plan is already drawing concern from agencies that rely on county funding.