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Colonie asks state to OK one-time tax

In a 4-to-3 vote Thursday, June 12, the Colonie Town Board adopted a home-rule message to urge the New York State Legislature to pass a one-time corrective tax bill, which would average to about $155 per household in the town and around $135 per household in the villages of Colonie and Menands.

Town Supervisor Paula Mahan had originally speculated that the tax would come out to about $250 per household townwide. The vote was cast with opposition from the three Republican board members, who were certainly not in favor of this, according to board member Brian Hogan.

Hogan said he and the other two Republicans on the board -- Nicole Criscione-Szesnat and Tom With -- would rather continue examining costs that can be cut within the town instead of imposing the tax on residents.

"I would have loved to have seen us put a freeze on all non-essential new hires," said Hogan regarding a proposal that was rejected by the board at the May 29 meeting.

Criscione-Szesnat said that she was not well informed about the one-time corrective tax, and called for a public hearing to be held to discuss figures involved in the tax.

"It seems like everything we read about this is through the press," she said.

After the resolution was passed, Criscione-Szesnat rescinded her resolution to hold a future public hearing since, she said, it was too late.

The one-time corrective tax was originally proposed at a Town Board meeting on Thursday, April 10, in which time was allotted for public comment. At that meeting, CJ O'Rourke, a resident of Colonie, said that he supports the measure and that, "When Paula says it's time to move forward, it really is."

While Mahan said that she had received overwhelming support from residents for the one-time corrective tax via e-mail, mail and phone calls over the past weeks, other board members said they had received input as well.

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