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Town could uncap taxes

Glenville to hold public hearing on removing state’s 2 percent tax levy

— Town officials are toying with the idea of removing the state’s 2 percent property tax cap, and the public will soon have a chance to weigh in.

The Glenville Town Board has set a public hearing for Wednesday, Oct. 5, to solicit comments from residents about the possibility of the town overriding the 2 percent property tax levy cap spearheaded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle was quick to stress the public hearing during the upcoming Town Board meeting doesn’t mean the town is planning to overturn the tax cap, but board members want all options available while developing the town’s 2012 budget. Since the board needs to adopt a local law to override the tax cap, a public hearing is required. This is planned to be the only public hearing for the local law.

“This is only meant to give the board a tool if they need to override the tax cap for whatever reason,” said Koetzle. “This does not mean the board is thinking about overriding the cap. It just means that we need to go through a process so it’s a tool the board has if so needed by the time of the adoption of the budget.”

After the meeting, Koetzle said resident input has an impact on the budget, but the board ultimately has to do what it thinks is best for the town as a whole. Historically, the tax levy has fluctuated, he said, but the average levy increase over 10 years is 8 percent per year.

“The majority has been, ‘stay under the cap,’” Koetzle said about comments he’s received so far from residents. “A lot of them also say protect this service or I am willing to pay for that service.”

For each 1 percent the tax levy increases, town residents pay roughly an extra $5 on their taxes on average, said Koetzle. Residents will need to ask themselves, he said, if they are willing to pay more in taxes to protect town services.

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Comments

RichardReevesEllington 2 years, 11 months ago

It is time for alternate ways of doing business are introduced into local government. Not only in Glenville but also here in Bethlehem. Given the economic times, we citizens must make choices of what services we want and elected officials must clearly show what legally must be done, what should be done and what is nice to do. These options need to be placed in a public forum for ranking by citizens. This is not difficult.

What is needed are supervisors who can lead in empowering citizens to be more a part of government rather than just voters when they are needed.

I am a candidate for Bethlehem Town supervisor and if elected, I would provide leadership for such changes. I Have done it in industry and university administration. Of the three candidates I am the only one with such broad experience and the only one who would bring fresh eyes to governing. For more information, please go to www.bethlehemsupervisor.com

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