Monday, October 3, 2011


Local leaders consider ramifications of state tax cap
(Copyright © 2011 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc)

NEW PALTZ – As governments, municipal, state, county and school districts, look ahead to 2012, they facing a cap on property tax levies, and that presents problem on how governments functions.

“We’re faced with a huge problem, and we’re at the intersection of it right now,” said Elliot Auerbach, Ulster County comptroller.

Auerbach attended the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress’ Fall Conference on Local Governments Monday at SUNY New Paltz, and he said local governments will have to look at efficiencies first as it tries to look at the continued limiting of revenues.

“It has forced government to look inside, to become more efficient and how best they spend their limited dollars,” said Auerbach.

Tom Suozzi, the former Nassau County executive who chaired the state’s Property Tax Relief commission in 2008, which helped in developing the current tax cap proposal, talked about state mandates that pass certain financial responsibilities for programs, like Medicare, down to the county level.

“And that’s been left off the table,” said Auerbach. “That’s really the crux of the problem here.”

State mandates have always been grappling points for local lawmakers. But as they try to overcome that obstacle, services will still need to be provided, and Auerbach said consolidations and shared services may be solutions in making to help government work in the near future.
“I think that’s going to become the buzz word(s) for 2012,” he said.

Jonathan Drapkin, president of the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, said we are living during an historic time when tough choices have to be made for the immediate and long-term futures.

“It’s going to be one of those periods 10 or 15 years from now and we’ll say, ‘That was one tough period’,” he said. “I think we have to come to grip that very difficult decisions have to be made.”

And with those austere measures ahead, governments will need to find a way to fund services as property taxpayers demand an end to yearly hikes.

“It creates the window where you can plan,” he said. “The public has made it very cleared to us that they won’t accept endless increases in taxes.”


Anonymous said...

Not to mention endless cost overruns without anyone held accountable for it.

Anonymous said...

The concept of treating the effects instead of the cause may be popular with the shortsighted masses, but causes remain festering that threaten the whole society. All the cold compresses in the world aren't going to save the person who insists on eating rotten food. Think further ahead.

Hein is no Democrat said...

What is with Hein? Is he fulfilling a political deal with Carnright or something? He is talking about closing Golden Hill on one hand and hiring another ADA on the other.

If I did not know better, (and I am not sure I DON'T!), I would think this is some sort of payback on a political deal worked out so Hein could run unopposed! Some Democrat Hein is, he throws his running mate right under the bus 4 weeks before election day.

Anonymous said...

So Hein thinks cutting chemical dependency staff and hiring another ADA is the answer?

Just great, lock 'em up and add to the taxpayers costs. Jail costs more. Prevention and aftercare are what fixes the problem, not locking up people with a disease.

Anonymous said...

Hiring another Ada to assist Jon is a good thing. I don't think Holley has anything to do with it. Carnright only increased crime by pulling that no snitchin' gang rule and letting them execute a witness. Nobody wants to testify when the DA lets gangs kill them. Nice guy that Carnright.

Anonymous said...

Hein has no opponent, Carnright has a new ADA. Quid pro Quo. In hiring the ADA now, he sends a message that he is supporting Carnright and not the Democrat Sennett.

I hope the Democrats are taking notes on what Hein is doing. He reminds me more of Chris Christie than anyone else. He certainly does not hold Democratic values. How pathetic it is that the Democrats honored the most un-Democrat of all. FOOLS!

Anonymous said...

Next year's budget is for next year's DA. Hein has no opponent because the pugs have no candidate or any substantive party. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

Desperation is showing Carnrightion. Foolish attempts to sow disunity by false claims of favors just shows your weakness.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that says Hein is governing with the principals of the Democratic party at heart, could not be more wrong. He is a Republican through and through. No Democrat would cut services for the people that need it most, the elderly and the infirm included. That is what Republicans do and that is what Hein is.

He obviously has his sights set on higher office. Good luck Mike, you won't get this Democrats vote ever again.

Anonymous said...

Shifting services does not equate to cutting off and fiscal responsibility has always been a main plank in the Democratic party. A republican would have forced a massive tax hike by irresponsible promises that just cannot be kept. Come up with funding and every social program can be saved.

Anonymous said...

6:42 is obviously a Hein supporter or a Johnny come lately Hein. A true Democrat, that is one who is a Democrat by belief and spirit and not one of opportunity, would not even have services like drug treatment, care for the aged and infirm, or helping those who need help the most on the table. Appointing an ADA and cutting Mental Health services as a trade off? That would not happen under a true Democratic leader. It is scary what Hein has done to the Democrats in Ulster County. When will they wake up and see what is in front of them?

Anonymous said...

8:52 I believe you're the " johnny come lately" here. You obviously have little idea of what.Democratic principles are. Services aren't being denied, they're being shifted. Nobody will go without treatment or care. Some employees will be fired. Hard times mean hard choices and services that can be more efficiently provided elsewhere must be looked at first. If this jobs bill doesn't get through there will be more belt tightening next year. Things are going to get pretty ugly before things right themselves. Go beat up on those "job creators" that bled us dry.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that facility require massive amounts of work? Isn't the transfer of ownership allow them to accomplish much more for less by avoiding the prevailing wage problem? Using borrowed private funds to put more local laborers to work seems like a pretty smart strategy. If no qualified buyers materialize the place just comes right back into public hands. I think some pretty slick guys are hard at work on this problem.

Anonymous said...

Who protects the Seniors? We can not expect the Legislature or the Executives office to. Once they wash their hands of it, it is over to them.

What about the RRA? We can spend money on garbage, but not our seniors.

That ladies and gentleman, is the difference between a true Democrat and a true Republican. You decide which one Hein is.

Anonymous said...

Copy and paste spam here too? That's pretty pathetic. Don't any Republicans have any brains to write comments?