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News stories tagged with "property-taxes"

Newcomb's high school and middle school eats lunch together(Photos:  Brian Mann)
Newcomb's high school and middle school eats lunch together(Photos: Brian Mann)

A village school in the Adirondacks goes global to survive

Public schools in the North Country have been closing one-by-one for decades. It's a heartbreaking event for small towns.

But dwindling populations and rising costs have forced districts to consolidate and bus their kids long distances to bigger schools.

Incoming Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated that he wants more districts to merge, and the state has already cut education funding.

The entire Newcomb school district has fewer than a hundred kids.

But as Brian Mann reports, the community is fighting for survival by trying to attract international students to fill its empty classrooms.  Go to full article
Is it a big jump all at once? Sure it is. But still we would be lower than most any other tax rate you could find in the state.

Essex County faces 30 to 50 percent tax hike

After seven years of no increases and one of the lowest property tax rates in the state, Essex County is looking at playing catch-up--fast. The county manager estimates a hike in the 30% to 50% range. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Randy Douglas heads the Essex County board of supervisors
Randy Douglas heads the Essex County board of supervisors

Essex County faces tough budget choices

Essex County now faces a budget deficit next year that could top 9 million dollars. That's ten percent of the county's budget that still needs to be paid for.

The soaring costs are being blamed on scheduled pay increases for county workers, rising utility coasts, and the cost of operating the Horace Nye nursing home in Elizabethtown.

The latest blow came this week, when the Board of Supervisors announced that health insurance costs could rise by as much as 46%.

Brian Mann spoke about the budget crunch with Randy Douglas. He's town supervisor in Jay and serves as county chair.  Go to full article
Would a new village on the shore of Lake George make local taxes more fair?
Would a new village on the shore of Lake George make local taxes more fair?

Voters in Lake George area decide today whether to create new village

Voters in the Lake George area go to the polls today to decide whether they want to create a new village. The new community, called East Lake George, would be carved out of the towns of Fort Ann and Queensbury.

Supporters of the move say it would help to ease the high property tax burden on their mostly waterfront homes. The change drew fire from the Glens Falls Post-Star newspaper, which published an editorial yesterday urging voters to reject the plan.

Anthony Hall is publisher of the Lake George Mirror newspaper and he's been covering this story. He talked about today's vote with Brian Mann.

NOTE: The polls are open today at the North Queensbury Fire Station from noon until 9 pm.  Go to full article

County lawmakers confront impacts of a bleak state budget year

St. Lawrence County crafted an austere budget this year, one that would have been worse if not for $3 million in stimulus funding to help pay for Medicaid.

County legislators met with state lawmakers yesterday to assess the state's financial situation and its impact on the region's counties. There were few answers, and the meeting became a bleak lament of Albany gridlock. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

STAR tax relief changes under the radar in Albany

As the deadline for the New York budget draws closer, some proposals, like a tax on soda and sugary drinks, are getting a lot of scrutiny. But others are flying under the radar. One would change "STAR," a program popular with people who struggle to keep up with property taxes. Rachel Ward has more.  Go to full article

State proposes cap on Adk property tax payments, sparking outrage

For the first time since the 1800s, the state of New York wants to cap property tax payments on forest preserve land in the Adirondack Park. The proposal would cost school districts and local governments in the North Country millions of dollars a year. It was unveiled last week as part of Governor David Paterson's controversial budget-cutting package. As Brian Mann reports, the property-tax measure is sparking outrage from groups across the political spectrum.  Go to full article

Commission: consolidation won't close schools

A recommendation from Governor Paterson's commission on property tax relief fueled anxiety across the North Country this week. It would force school districts of fewer than 1,000 students to consolidate. Districts of fewer than 2,000 students would be encouraged to follow suit. The plan would affect almost all districts in northern New York. But as David Sommerstein reports, the commission says it doesn't want to actually shutter school buildings.  Go to full article

Walmart sues Ticonderoga to lower assessment

The retail giant Walmart is suing the town of Ticonderoga. The lawsuit in State Supreme Court claims the town's $6.9 million assessment of the Walmart Supercenter there is more than twice what it should be. The move comes months before Walmart will have to pay full taxes after 10 years of payments-in-lieu-of-taxes. Walmart has challenged assessments of its big boxes across the country. Ticonderoga town officials say the property's probably undervalued because the assessment was made when the Supercenter opened in 1998. Town Supervisor Bob Dedrick told David Sommerstein he was very surprised.  Go to full article
NYS Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury)
NYS Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury)

Little says Bruno retirement won't cost GOP control of Senate

Senator Joe Bruno's surprise announcement this week that he won't seek re-election raises new questions about the Republican Party's ability to hold its one-seat majority in the November elections. Democrats enjoy a lopsided advantage in terms of voter enrollment and fundraising. The GOP is also burdened by President George Bush's rock-bottom approval ratings. Brian Mann checked in with North Country Senator Betty Little, who says she hopes Bruno will help support Republican candidates through the end of the year.  Go to full article

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