"'There's a lot of anger out there,' said Ried. 'This was one of the most emotional surveys we've done in recent years.' She said the heated emotion centered on taxes. 'It's a taxpayer revolt, no question about it,' said Ried. 'We had people saying over and over again, 'We're one of the highest taxed regions in the country. How can they think about raising taxes again?' People are just sick of it.' One county lawmaker who refused to vote for a sales tax increase, Elise M. Cusack of Amherst, said the poll data doesn't surprise her. It matches what she's been hearing from residents for months now, in the supermarket and over her office phone lines. 'People have had enough,' said Cusack, a Republican. 'The public has just been very engaged in this - more than anything I've ever seen. They really get it. 'The Legislature has finally heard the message,' she said. 'We're really on the cusp of making reform and change. This is where the rubber meets the road.' "Well, some get it, and some don't.
Legislature Chairman George A. Holt Jr., D-Buffalo, said that points to a problem with residents' thinking on the issue of taxes: They don't want a higher sales tax, but they also don't want more property taxes - and yet county services have to be funded somehow. "The perception of taxes in Western New York is a big no-no," said Holt, who supported a sales tax increase. "However, people must realize: If you want quality services from Erie County, you must pay taxes."Mr Chairman, your statement implies that we don't pay taxes. We do. The highest in the country. Make do with what you have, Mr. Chairman. You have plenty.
"This provides a huge opportunity for us to drive home the message of changing the way we do business in Erie County," Giambra said. "Once you've got the taxpayers' attention, you can sell them on the idea of regionalism and consolidation."Or, on the flip side, you can sell them on the idea of abolishing the County altogether.