One-time tax dies in Senate

As the legislative session came to a close Tuesday, June 24, the bill that would have Colonie residents paying a one-time corrective tax to help whittle down the town's $18 million deficit seemed to slip through the cracks of the Senate floor.

The bill (A.11562/S.8496) was introduced by Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Newtonville, and Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Delmar, in mid-June. At the time, Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan was hopeful that it would pass through both houses of the Legislature, and allow the town to collect enough funds in October to pay off some of its short-term debt.

After passing the Assembly, 87-to-53, on Tuesday, June 17, the bill had less than a full week to pass in the Senate and become law.

According to Breslin, there was no reason the Colonie bill should not have passed the Senate after it had already passed in the Assembly on Tuesday, June 17.

It appears as though the Senate majority is just looking at it, not in terms of good government, but in terms of politics, he said.

Breslin said that more than 9,000 bills have been introduced this session and about 100 made it to the floor Tuesday, June 24, on the final day the Legislature was scheduled to meet before a possible reunion in July. The Colonie one-time tax bill was not one of those hundred.

In an effort to move the bill along in the Legislature, an item on the Thursday, June 12, Colonie Town Board voted 3-to4 to issue a home-rule message that would urge the Legislature to adopt the one-time tax bill.

The tax itself was last estimated to cost 90 percent of homeowners in Colonie about $155, about $135 for homeowners who reside in either the Village of Colonie or the Village of Menands.

Commercially, the maximum tax for a town parcel would be capped at $7,500 per parcel for commercial property assessed between $4,565,000 and under $50 million, and $15,000 for a commercial property assessed at $49,999,999.99 or higher.

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