Thursday, January 5, 2012




Anonymous said...

Two points,

First I think that this report is wrong, because I see one tax district on here that I know for a fact did not vote to or even debate the idea of a measure overriding the tax cap. A matter of fact that same district in fact has lowered their tax levy.

Second, Because of the unclear way in which this law was written and the fact that the Comptroller's office still to this day does not have many answers for questions about the law, legal council as well as most professional Town and other organizations were recommending that a town or tax district pass a tax cap override even if they did not intend to break the two percent cap. This would save the town or other district if one of many situations arose later which might cause a past year's budget to be revised for something like a court ordered assessment change which would required that the tax burden be redistributed to make the budget. Further more in case other costs that were out of the town's control were forced into the budget and put it over the two percent cap, say like the out of control safety net and/or elections costs that were forced on the city and towns by the county who had no problem breaking the tax cap for those funds by many times over 2%.

I would appreciate it Mr. Auerbach if you would report all of the facts involved with this poorly planned and executed tax cap rather than just throw political jabs and run.

Elliott Auerbach said...

You may want to encourage the taxing entity to contact the Office of the State Comptroller if the district was incorrectly represented.

Anonymous said...

Whether you love it or hate it, the 2% property tax cap has had the positive effect of getting more people getting involved with how their tax dollars are being spent. However a review of which towns are budgeting over or under the tax cap does not really do justice to understanding the fiscal responsibility of their budgets.
It might be more instructive to delve into the nuisances of a budget starting with the Ulster County budget. The Ulster County budget is increasing the tax levy under the property cap but included in next year's budget is a dilution of the general fund ( from $22 million to $ 11 million) and the transfer of Golden Hill to a LDC ( $8 million ).
Just a few years ago, Mike Hein felt that a healthy budget should have a 10% to 15% general fund and now he accepts the state recommendation of a 5% general fund. Also the sale of Golden Hill will not be an easy task with the obvious buyer Steve Aaron engaged with a struggle with the IDA about revising previous PILOT agreements.
Perhaps a clarification of the reduction of general fund on credit rating and a look ahead on the consequence of not selling Golden Hill would be in the realm of your responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

The tax increases were/are more than likely going to be under 2% anyway. Ulster County, and many towns have had several years of flat or under 2% increases anyway. The towns that went over have managerial issues that reflect the inability of those towns to get spending under control.
It is not a taxing issue, it is a spending issue. When will they get it?