Poughkeepsie council approves tax cap override, and gets another earful on buses

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Another lengthy public comment period at the start of last night’s Poughkeepsie Common Council meeting, and most of it was from city bus riders, again appealing to not turn the buses over to the county.  Much of it was a repeat of the two hours of public comment, on that topic, at the last council meeting.
Losing the buses midyear is a key component of Mayor Robert Rolison’s 2017 budget proposal, which even with unloading the buses, would still increase the tax levy by about 16.5 percent. 
There could be another rehash at the next Council meeting on December 5.  That meeting will be preceded by the annual public hearing on the proposed budget.
Also last night, the council approved overriding the state tax cap.  For the city, it is 0.68 percent. 
The resolution does not commit the council to an override, but council Vice Chair Natasha Cherry said staying within the cap would be disastrous.
“We would probably have to go with a contingency budget which would cut a tremendous amount of services,” Cherry said. 
The vote to override was unanimous.