LIVINGSTON COUNTY — As print publications struggle for monetary sustainability due to rising costs the GeneseeSun.com took a closer look at how much the taxpayer is contributing to the print industry’s survival here in Livingston County, and how a proposed bill in Albany could lessen the burden of the taxpayer to sustain this dying industry.
Legislation has been proposed that would allow Town and Village offices to no longer require their legal notices and advertisements to be placed within print publications. Assembly Bill 6058 by Assemblyman Steve Hawley, and Assembly Bill 8075 by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill currently sit in Albany. This legislation could potentially create opportunities for other media to publish these adverts and legal notices, which could save the taxpayers in Livingston County thousands of dollars each year from less expensive alternatives.
“It’s a position that is hostile to taxpayers and consumers by blocking free market competition and potentially saving governments money,” stated Howard Owens, Publisher of The Batavian, and advocator of the legislation.
The GeneseeSun.com has been busy over the past several months FOIL requesting data-heavy research into the majority of municipalities within Livingston County’s spending within print publications in 2012.
The following data is in regard to how much each town or village within Livingston County had spent serving legal notices and ads within print publications throughout 2012. The Genesee Sun’s research revealed results that were predictable for some municipalities, while surprising for others.
Some interesting statistics within the research conducted includes the county spending over $40,000 with the Mount Morris Shopper in 2012 alone, which accounts for nearly half of the County’s total spending for the year. The Mount Morris Shopper was the most costly print publication in 2012, raking in well over $50,000 between the county and its municipalities. Second, was the Genesee Valley Pennysaver, and the Livingston County News (Batavia Newspapers Corp.) placing third in total spending between municipalities.
Below is the breakdown in ($) totals for each municipality in 2012:
Livingston County: $79,256.65
Town of Avon: $2,450.14
Village of Avon: $2,811.86
Town of Caledonia: $519.75
Village of Caledonia: $935.84
Town of N. Dansville: $465.52
Village of Dansville: $570.00
Town of Geneseo: $2,255.19
Village of Geneseo: $1,387.12
Town of Lima: Did not respond to our request
Village of Lima: $610.30
Town of Livonia: $5,342.41
Village of Livonia: Estimated between $350.00 and 450.00
Town of Mount Morris: $3,391.26
Village of Mount Morris: $6,585.36
Town of Nunda: $937.39
Village of Nunda: $3,038.60
Town of York: $529.10
“Competition drives the cost for the consumer down,” said Josh Williams, Publisher of the GeneseeSun.com. “Due to current state regulations many municipalities have no other print option to go to for publication and they are forced to pay these fees by Albany legislation. This data isn’t even including school notices which is easily over $5,000 annually per school district in Livingston County.”
Under the proposed bill online television stations like 13WHAM.com would also be qualified to bid on legal notice publication requtirements which would Monroe County municipalities and schools even more revenue.