New Taxpayer Protection Amendment To Cap Public Employees’ Pay & Benefits

(Assembly Joint Resolution 77)

Approved by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on April 12, 2006, the Taxpayer Protection Amendment (TPA) would limit spending by cities, counties and large villages to the lesser of inflation or the statewide change in personal income (generally around 3 percent), plus two-thirds of the percentage growth from new construction in their communities.  Local governments could only exceed these caps if approved by the voters in a referendum.

In addition, local governments could not be forced by an arbitrator to pay salary and benefit packages that exceed their spending limits.  Employee contributions towards retirement and health insurance would be excluded from the caps, meaning that government employers will have a greater incentive to get their employees to contribute a greater proportion than they do today.  For example, if this becomes the law, double digit increases in health insurance will leave public employees completely unable to get ANY increase in their wages.

The State Assembly is planning on considering the amendment by the end of April.

WPPA members need to immediately contact their Assembly legislators and urge them to vote against the Taxpayer Protection Amendment.

Members can most easily do so by telephoning the toll-free Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472.  If members are not sure who their State Assembly representatives are, the hotline operators will provide you with that information.  The operators will forward your message to the appropriate legislator, and can provide members with direct telephone numbers if requested.

In their messages to legislators, members should identify themselves, the name of their local association (e.g., the Oneida County Deputy Sheriffs Association), and urge their state representative to vote AGAINST the Taxpayer Protection Amendment.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact WPPA Assistant Executive Director Jim Palmer, either by telephone at 1-800-362-8838, or by e-mail at palmer@wppa.com.

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