For my service, I worked for EffectiveNY, a good-government organization here in New York State. While I was later hired to be their Director of Policy Initiatives, I volunteered for the organization in September of 2014 to promote their ideas to drastically reduce property taxes for homeowners in New York State. My favorite part of my job was a radio interview that I did with The Capital Pressroom, a radio station in Albany, NY. Here is a portion of the transcript from my appearance:
HOST: So, Martin, you want the state to fully takeover Medicaid, which is no small thing. Why?
RATHER: Certainly not. Currently the counties pay 8.4 billion dollars to the state as a part of the federal matching funds. So, the way that Medicaid is paid for in most states is that the federal government will pay 50% of the cost and the state will pay the other 50%. In New York, we do it differently. The federal government pays their share, their 50%. But the state doesn’t pay their full 50%, they pay 35-36%, and the counties and localities are forced to pay the other 14%. And the way that these counties raise those funds is through property taxes and that’s why you see such incredibly high property taxes all throughout Upstate and Western New York.
I greatly enjoyed my time with EffectiveNY, working in an office and getting out in the field. Public service work is a real passion of mine and I reflect fondly on the experience.