15 Sep 2014
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Tax Cap Override Vote: Let the People Have a Real Say

Tax Cap Override Vote: Let the People Have a Real Say

This Monday the PV Board of Trustees will be considering a resolution giving it the power to override the NY 2 percent state imposed tax cap when it eventually considers approval of the 2014-2015 budget.  A vote on the proposed budget has not yet been scheduled although there is a resolution also on the agenda for Monday that will set a date for that vote (date not yet specified). At the present time no draft copy of the proposed budget is available for the public to review prior to the public hearing now scheduled for the Monday meeting.

I am neither an accountant or a lawyer and to be honest trying to wade through the relevant law it sometimes seem that the law was written by a lawyer also an accountant. But I have been doing as much research into the issue of tax caps including the issue of over riding a tax cap. Everyone who cares about their village taxes has got to get informed as best as possible.  Interested residents who want to get some back ground information can find relevant information about this whole process by visiting the website of the NY State Comptroller’s office please see this link to do so:

https://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/realprop/. (if link does not appear in this article paste in address)

Last year the Patchogue Village Board voted to pierce the tax cap but did not do so when it adopted the Budget.  Among the reasons for taking this step is to prevent future penalties from being applied to the village in the event of errors or unforeseen circumstances but I am looking forward to hearing the reasons for overriding the tax cap this year when the resolution does appear for a vote on Monday.

While I am neither an accountant or lawyer as I said earlier I do know one thing. This vote, which is needed and must be taken before the budget is in fact voted on in order for a cap over ride to be legal, seems rushed.

At the meeting members of the public, meaning tax payers, are going to be asked to give their opinions about the need for a tax cap over ride when in fact there is no proposed budget to review. To me that is an important missing piece of information.  Secondly this public hearing is being held sometime after 6 p.m. Members of the public who work or who are otherwise committed should be allowed the right to attend a later meeting to be given a fair chance, whether anyone shows up or not, to express their views. 

Lastly while the Board must vote to override prior to the adoption of the budget the Board does not need to actually vote on the Budget until late this month. Deferring a vote on the override until the budget is actually known, and until working tax payers have been given at least one chance to ask questions about the override and the budget at a time that they can get to a meeting to do so strikes me as being fairer than the present plan. 

The annual budget vote is the most important business that the Village Board will decide on. It impacts everyone and since it does I for one think that everyone should be given a real chance to ask questions and speak their minds before any votes on either a tax cap over ride or actual budget is approved.

Taxpayers who agree are urged to contact their elected officials and say so. All of them can be reached by email by visiting the village website. Look for the tab for elected officials which when found will produce email links to do so. There is time to let the public have their say without being rushed. There is no good reason for that not to happen. Link: www.patchoguevillage.org/. (if link does not appear in this article, paste address into search bar)

And just a note about the Governor’s overall plan to cap all tax increases at two percent and force economies that will be rebated to renters and homeowners both: the jury is still out as to whether that plan will be approved. NY State has not yet approved its budget. Whatever is agreed to most probably will not be known until it is. In the meantime all should remember to get a tax break all it takes is the current Board to find a way to do so. The Board has that power at any time to make that real... approval from Albany not needed.




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