The race for the 4th District of the Onondaga County legislature has become a war over political signs.
Democrat David Stott who was defeated two years ago by 138 votes, is trying to win his seat back from Republican Judy Tassone. Stott has posted signs throughout the district claiming that Tassone is responsible for a 46 percent increase in property taxes in the Town of Salina, a 22 percent increase in the Village of Liverpool, and a 36 percent hike in the Lakeland area.
Stott says Tassone played a role in the tax hikes by voting in favor of a sales tax redistribution in early 2010 which took revenue away from towns, forcing them to raise property taxes. "Her lack of experience and independence cost us greatly," Stott says in campaign literature.
For her part, Tassone has countered by placing signs next to Stott's saying "not true." While Tassone does not dispute that property taxes rose last year, she accuses Stott of distorting her record.
Tassone says that she and every other legislator went along with the sales tax redistribution. She says she and other lawmakers tried to cut $48-million dollars from the county budget last year, that would have brought the tax hikes to "zero or very little."
Tassone says County Executive Joanie Mahoney vetoed amendments to the budget which resulted in a cut of only $19 million. Tassone says had the County budget passed as originally proposed, without cuts, taxes would have increased by 114 percent.
Tassone says she's coming up with her own campaign literature to counter Stott's claims. But Stott says people need only look at their tax bills to realize "this is true...and it hurts."