Five area communities exceed 80 percent of their constitutional tax limit


ALBANY – A report from the state comptroller’s office says 20 communities across the state, including five in the Mid-Hudson/Catskills region, have exceeded 80 percent of their constitutional tax  limit and should develop a plan to avoid risking their financial viability any further.

Deputy Comptroller Elliott Auerbach’s municipal division conducted the study.

“What we are saying to them is there is an opportunity here to revisit every penny and every dollar and every dime that is being spent,” Auerbach said. “Comptroller DiNapoli takes it seriously. He put this report out as a harbinger to those communities to let them know that there are dangers ahead for them, but there are things they can do to remedy them.”

Of the five area municipalities, the Village of Monticello has exhausted the most, 96 percent of its constitutional tax limit, and Mayor Gary Sommers said the village is essentially operating now on an austerity budget.

“The villages in only four counties are not made whole for their unpaid taxes,” Sommers said. “The Village of Monticello has over $1 million in unpaid taxes out there. In everything but four counties, the villages are made whole for unpaid taxes. Throughout the state, townships are made whole for unpaid taxes but not villages. So the villages the villages run into the problem of having to operate a village with a budget that you are never sure of.”

Of the area municipalities, The City of Yonkers exhausted 92.7 percent of its tax limit; the Village of Ellenville exceeded 80 percent of the limit by 92.1 percent; the Village of Spring Valley, by 91.4 percent; and the Village of Liberty, by 83.1 percent.