Rochester Mayor Tom Richards says County Executive Maggie Brooks' 2014 Budget is imposing several new service charges and raising old ones on city taxpayers, and he says she doesn't have the authority to do that.
Richards sent a letter off from City Hall to the County Building, complaining that the charges are burdensome and can't be unilaterally imposed by the county.
According to Richards' letter, Brooks' proposed county budget doubles the amount the city is charged to house prisoners in the county jail. It also starts charging for maintaining traffic lights in the city. The mayor says the jail charges are set by contract between the city and county and the county pays for the traffic signals under state law. He says neither can be changed just because the county wants to.
Mayor Richards says the two chargebacks would take another $2.5 million out of city taxpayers, forcing their tax rate to go up to help keep the county's tax rate unchanged.