Alexandria To Seek Tax Cap Override
The Town of Alexandria is the latest arm of local government to challenge Governor Cuomo's tax cap. The town will hold a public hearing on overriding the cap Thursday. The cap imposes a limit on how much municipalities and school districts can routinely increase taxes. The figure generally used is two percent. To go over the cap requires a 'super-majority' vote. (In the real world, the 'two percent' figure can vary widely, depending on a number of factors.) At Fort Drum earlier this week, Governor Cuomo summed up the tax cap this way: "Welcome to reality, local government," he said. But local officials say Cuomo's dismissive comments overlook another reality: the state tells local governments they have to do certain things, but provides no way to pay for those things. In the lingo of government, they're called "unfunded mandates." "When the state passes down a mandate, and the mandate gets passed onto the county, the towns are at the bottom of the list," said Dale Hunneyman, Town of Alexandria supervisor. "And sometimes there's not financial support to go along with the mandate." Alexandria does not plan to use the override of the cap to raise taxes, Hunneyman said. "That's the last thing on the town's mind. But we just want to protect the town."