Press-Republican

Politics and Elections

October 29, 2012

Dissolution 'not insurmountable'

MALONE — The Village of Seneca Falls dissolved in 2011, making it the most recent example of dissolution in New York.

Wade Beltramo, general counsel to the New York State Conference of Mayors, was in Malone recently to talk about dissolution and what villagers could expect if they vote Nov. 6 to dissolve the Village of Malone.

He said no two communities are alike, so any cost savings in Seneca Falls may not apply in Malone.

TOWN, VILLAGE IMPACTS

“There was a significant decrease in taxes (for former village property owners), and costs shifted,” he said of Seneca Falls.

According to the Seneca County Real Property Tax Service Office, the town tax rate went from 65 cents per $1,000 of assessed-property value in 2011 to $3.96 per $1,000 in 2012, after the tax burden was spread to include former village property owners.

According to the Town of Seneca Falls website, the tax rate in the former village went from $16.93 per $1,000 in 2010 to $5.49 per $1,000 in 2011 and will remain that way in 2013.

“The town has a landfill, and the village had no benefit from that, so there was a huge disparity” between what village property and town property owners paid, Beltramo said.

“That was the impetus of the dissolution (for the village).”

 Seneca Falls Town Supervisor Don Earle confirmed the shift.

“People living in the town outside the village were hit the hardest because they had always paid a lower rate because of the revenue from our landfill,” he said in a recent phone interview. “Now, it’s spread more equally.”

FIVE-YEAR PLAN

Seneca Falls brings in between $2 million and $3 million a year in landfill revenue and that allowed the town to keep taxes low or flat.

But the newly created town plans to use some of the revenue to improve infrastructure and encourage economic development before the landfill closes in the next 10 to 20 years.

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