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In packed race, hopefuls look to stand out

Seven 109th Assembly candidates meet in forum, pitch platforms

A crowded field of Democratic candidates for the 109th Assembly District attended a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and Spotlight Newspaper. Also in attendance was Republican Ted Danz who is fighting to gain the Independent line against Democrat Patricia Fahy.

A crowded field of Democratic candidates for the 109th Assembly District attended a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and Spotlight Newspaper. Also in attendance was Republican Ted Danz who is fighting to gain the Independent line against Democrat Patricia Fahy. Photo by Kristen Roberts.

— Fahy said all of her siblings live in bigger homes in different states, but pay less in taxes. She said costs need to be shifted from property owners to the state and that the current state aid formula needs to be done away with.

“It is not fair to taxpayers and no one understands it,” she said.

Perez said she has been looking to purchase property near her current home, but can’t because she cannot afford the taxes.

Higgins directed his comments on taxes toward his fellow county legislators and said he voted against the county budget because more could have been done to reduce wasteful spending. He also felt additional payment in lieu of taxes agreements would bring more private businesses to the area to help broaden the revenue base, and touted his land bank initiative to demolish dilapidated buildings in the county.

Coyne said to tackle to root of the problem, homes needs to be assessed on a more frequent basis.

“When you have a bad economy, government has a tendency not to reassess. When you have a great economy, they’re there every year,” he said. “So, what I would do is propose that every five years is a reassessment that is mandated by every government in the state.”

When candidates were asked to describe their vision of the region 10 years from now, most spoke of a revitalized area with lower taxes and more jobs. Fahy said more should be done to create a mixed-use environment in the City of Albany, while Higgins spoke of a more “sustainable, livable and walkable” future. He also wanted to see more development on the waterfront to the Hudson River.

Coyne said he has a plan to bring the Winter Olympics back to the Lake Placid region by amending Olympic Regional Development Authority legislation in order to go to bid on the event with Albany. Commisso spoke of the need for more investments in infrastructure to create jobs.

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