The Warren County Commissioners passed a resolution on Friday, calling for state lawmakers to act responsibly in passing a balanced state budget.
The resolution asks lawmakers to "spare devastating cuts to core government services and avoid pushing costs down to local taxpayers" or "be willing to be accountable to all Pennsylvanians for the increases in local property taxes that could result."
"Just like the state, our county must adopt a balanced budget," Warren County Commissioner John Eggleston said. "Unlike any other unit of government, counties are solely reliant on the real property tax. When the state passes costs to counties, local taxpayers suffer consequences in the form of increased property taxes. Our residents could face significant property tax increases or service cuts this year if our state leaders do not pass a responsible state budget that provides funding for mandates, entitlements and necessary devices."
Eggleston said he hoped the resolution would send a strong message to the state legislature that the state "cannot be proud of a 'no tax increase budget' that drastically cuts local services and is balanced on the backs of local property owners."
According to the commissioners, one-third of the counties in the state were forced to raise taxes last year in order to pay for state-mandated services.
Eggleston asked county taxpayers to contact State Rep. Kathy Rapp and State Sens. Mary Jo White and Joe Scarnati and "let them know this is not acceptable."
"We strongly advocate for a state budget that does not pass state responsibility and costs to the local property owner," Eggleston said. "State lawmakers need to listen to our concerns, because we also represent the taxpayer. Lawmakers need to unite with county government in finding real solutions to these difficult budget issues."