Press-Republican

Politics and Elections

October 4, 2013

Mayoral candidate says city needs to grow tax base

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh mayoral candidate Chris Rosenquest says officials need to focus on bringing in more revenue to create a more sustainable long-term budget picture.

“The mayor’s job is to find these opportunities, and they do exist,” he told the Press-Republican.

Rosenquest, 38, is running as an independent third-party candidate against City Councilors James Calnon (R-Ward 4) and Mark Tiffer (D-Ward 2). He is a graduate of Plattsburgh High School who moved back here this summer from Seattle after being away for 14 years.

THREE-POINT PLAN

In a news release he put out this week, Rosenquest said he has a three-point plan that would focus on:

▶ Increasing industry and high-tech opportunities.

▶ Increasing tourism-related businesses with a focus on the waterfront.

▶ Increasing affordable residential development.

Rosenquest said it is the mayor’s job to aggressively market the city to business and industry in order to attract more jobs.

“We need to show that we have a fantastic opportunity here,” he said.

“We have a great workforce, and we are right on a beautiful lake.”

‘LEVERAGE RESOURCES’

Rosenquest suggests partnerships with SUNY Plattsburgh, the Town of Plattsburgh and the North Country Chamber of Commerce, among others, as a way of leveraging the resources of the area in order to bring in more business.

“Whatever we do in the city will impact the town, and whatever they do in the town will impact the city,” he said.

Rosenquest said creating more housing for young professionals will also be key as the area grows.

“We need to identify opportunities where we can build,” he said.

“We also have an older population that we don’t want to tax out of their homes,” he said.

‘TAX, SPEND, BORROW’

The proposed 2014 city budget put out last week by Mayor Donald Kasprzak features a 2.3 percent increase in the tax levy, which is the maximum allowed under the state tax cap. The budget plan uses $1.8 million from the fund balance, leaving it at $722,000 or 3 percent of the general fund, which is below the state recommended 5 to 10 percent.

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