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County may approve tax cap option

May 14, 2013
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday set a June 10 public hearing on a proposed local law to override the state tax-levy cap that will be imposed on the county's 2014 budget.

The hearing will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. that day in the Supervisor's Chambers of the County Office Building. The local law, if approved, allows supervisors to consider overriding the annual state tax levy cap while developing next year's county budget.

The county approved the tax-cap override option the past two years.

The county overrode the tax-levy cap by 1.7 percent in 2012, but stayed under the cap in this year's budget. The state imposes a cap on tax-levy increases for municipalities, although the size of the cap varies by municipality based on a formula.

In other matters approved Monday by the board:

The resolution calls upon state lawmakers to enact legislation preventing future unfunded mandates without corresponding state aid to pay for them.

"Fulton County's fiscal challenges are a direct result of state-imposed mandates and reduced state reimbursement," the resolution said.

The resolution says the New York State Association of Counties identified nine state mandates that consume 90 percent of all county property taxes: Medicaid, Public Assistance/Safety Net, child welfare and preventive care, Special Education Preschool program, Early Intervention program, probation, indigent defense, youth detention and pensions.

Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria Jr. said Fulton County's lobbying efforts for mandate relief often fall on deaf ears in Albany.

"It seems like we go down there and they don't care," he said.

Lauria suggested that Fulton County and other municipalities not pay mandated costs to send a message to state lawmakers.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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