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Editorial: Sunny? Pack an umbrella

— In nearby Bethlehem, for example, residents are facing an 8 percent tax hike and the slashing of services, including a small reduction in the police force, because a tax agreement with industrial user Selkirk Cogen is set to expire this next year. By not looking to the future, leaders there are left in an uncomfortable position — not unlike Colonie was placed in when the deficit ballooned after years of mismanagement.

So while the times are good, think of when times will be bad. They will surely arrive, whether it be in a quarter century when the landfill deal runs out or sometime much sooner. Only by keeping that in mind will Colonie avoid a repeat of its blemished financial history.

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Jon1 1 year, 6 months ago

The article seems to have overlooked the August 2012 NYS Comptroller's "Town of Colonie Financial Condition Report of Examination", which says Supervisor Mahan was handed a $36.9 million Deficit by the previous Administration (never disclosed until now). As a result, Supervisor Mahan is to be complimented on achieving a $700,000 Surplus by the end of 2011, while also explaining how the annual surpluses from 2007 through 2011 were consumed. The NYS Comptroller also states that the Town Budgets (beginning with 2013) need to include the previous years (2011) actual results, which for 2011 reflect Revenues being about $14 million higher than Expenses. Therefore it seems appropriate to not only adhere to the 2% cap for expenses, but Colonie should follow Bethlehems proposal to cap Surplus reserves at 15-20%, which set the stage for lowering the tax rate in about 2014. Publishing actual results, combined with caping expenditures and Surplus reserves would help avoid repeating Colonie's blemished financial history. The question is: Do Colonie taxpayers care enough to insist on the current Administration complying with the above and doing what's best for all taxpayers?

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