Press-Republican

Monday

November 19, 2012

In My Opinion: Plattsburgh Town Council focus explained

Given recent efforts by certain concerned citizens to get their message and opinions out to the community, it is time that we help clarify some issues.

It is important to acknowledge that we have been living during a period that has presented a number of economic challenges to homeowners, business and government. Many find it difficult to meet financial obligations, compete in a global economy and survive with the ever-increasing cost of everything. Every day, cable news and local radio and TV broadcasts bring the economic picture into our life. Too often, this comes with the broadcaster’s view and spin on both the cause and the solution.

We would like to share a few facts about the Town of Plattsburgh:

1. The Town of Plattsburgh, unlike most municipalities, does not have a general tax that is levied on property owners.

2. The power of this Town Council is limited, and often the greatest burden property owners face is not within our power to change. We do not control school, county, fire-district, state or federal taxes.

3. Special-district taxes, such as lighting, highway, water and ambulance, are a part of our budget, but when compared to other municipalities in the North Country, they are much lower. For example, the average highway tax for 11 other towns in Clinton County that also have a townwide highway tax is $2.27 per $1,000 of assessed value. In the Town of Plattsburgh, it is 67 cents.

4. This Town Council has taken a progressive approach to our economic challenges with a focus on sustainability. This has been addressed in a number of ways, including reducing energy costs, consolidating resources, intermunicipal shared services, reorganizing departments, working to build our tax base, addressing employee benefits, accessing grants, etc.

5. The town is home to many new businesses creating hundreds of jobs. We have had a number of new commercial and industrial projects, making the Town of Plattsburgh an economic engine for the county while building our tax base to share in the cost of services for homeowners.

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