Governor Cuomo has proposed a 2% cap to control the ever-growing property tax in New York State which has reached intolerable proportions. A recent study by the non-partisan Washington DC based Tax Foundation group revealed that Montgomery County, New York has the 11th highest property tax in the NATION!
On Thursday, April 28, 2011, the Amsterdam Budget Review Committee agreed to a 17% increase in the City water fee, eliminating the 3% cap on utility fees and taxes instituted in 2004 by public referendum. This betrayal by our elected officials is a slap in the face to each an every citizen of this City who voiced their desire to institute the cap.
This violation of the public trust is also illegal without a mandatory referendum because it changes the powers of our elected officials.
Municipal Home Rule Article 2
§ 11. Restrictions on the adoption of local laws.
2. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, the legislative body of a county, city or village shall not be authorized by this chapter to adopt any local law which:
a. Amends the charter of the county, city or village, as the case may be, contrary to any provisions of such charter regulating its own amendment. This provision shall not abridge the right of the people of a county, city or village to amend their charter or approve a proposed new charter, where such amendment or proposed new charter is subject to a mandatory referendum.
We must not accept this breach of trust! As taxpayers we are entitled to representation and clearly we are not getting it!
This does not apply to 5th Ward Alderman Richard Leggiero, who I respect for voting NO to the outrageous budget proposition. He is the only one in touch with his constituency.
Let your opinion be heard! Call and email the members of the Budget Review Committee and voice your opinion. Tell them to go back and make the necessary cuts to bring the water rate back down to the 3% the people agreed to.
I attended the taping of the April 29, 2011 edition of The Show With No Name at the GWIB Coffeehouse on Upper Church Street in Amsterdam where former Corporation Counsel Bob Going, former City Assessor Michael Chiara, former Wells Superintendent of Schools/Amsterdam High School Principal Gavin Murdoch and Mayoral candidate Jim Nicosia discuss the tax situation. In the following clip, the group discusses their disgust with the GASD budget and plans to form a City Taxpayers Association.
There is a plan in the works to file an Article 78 lawsuit against the City of Amsterdam if they go ahead with their attempt to abolish the 3% cap without a mandatory referendum.
This issue is for the public to decide!