MAYFIELD - The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District Board of Directors came to an agreement Tuesday on a recalculated plan to tax five downstream counties.
The restructured plan comes in response to the May 10 decision by the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division Third Judicial Department that upheld a lower court's decision that allows the district to charge Albany, Rennselaer, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties but required the district to charge a percentage to the state, which the previous plan hadn't done.
"[The Appellate Court] denied all of the five counties' claims with the exception that we didn't charge New York state a share," the district's executive director, Michael A. Clark, said. "They said everything else is fine, but there needs to be an amount chargeable to New York state. We turned around, based on the input that court had given us, and calculated that amount to be charged to New York state. With that calculation, we recalculated the figures and developed this 2012 [plan]."
From left, Michael A. Clark, executive director of the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District, Robert Leslie, the group’s general counsel, and Richard J. Ferrara, the district’s chief fiscal officer, are shown at its meeting?Tuesday.
The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini
The regulating district looked at all the state-owned properties, bridges and highways in the five counties to come up with a total of 11.96 percent chargeable to the state- $531.21 million of the total property value $4.44 bilion) in the five counties.
The new plan shows the regulating district plans on collecting $5.09 million in back payments and $1.29 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year from Albany county. The other back payments and amounts owed for 2012-13 in the plan include: $2.99 million and $751,682 from Rennselaer County, $3.92 million and $987,405 from Saratoga County, $523,239 and $131,922 from Washington County and $918,270 and $231,519 from Warren County.
The district will have its next hearing for the revised plan Sept. 11.
The ongoing issue involving the back taxes owed by the regulating district to Northville, Mayfield and Broadalbin-Perth school districts also came up Tuesday, one day after Fulton County agreed to pay back $940,000 to the school districts.
Northville Superintendent Kathy Dougherty told the board she believes the school was forced to spend money a school her size shouldn't have to spend on legal fees to get to this point.
"We have expended, what I feel, are unnecessary dollars," Dougherty said.
Clark responded by saying the district doesn't have the reserves leaving it in a situation where it couldn't make the payments.
"We still anticipate payment of the assessment," he said. "We have acknowledged all along the regulating district is responsible."