10/25/2011

Tax Cap Override Hearing

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported:


The Common Council will hold a public hearing on budget adoption night Nov. 2 on a measure overriding the state property tax cap....

The Council called the hearing in a brief special meeting Monday, in effect acknowledging that it can’t meet the 2 percent cap, which Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said applies to the total amount to be collected in taxes, not to the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation

City Treasurer Michael E. White said the 2 percent limit would equal a tax levy increase of about $193,000. The budget as it currently stands increases the levy by nearly $1.1 million, or 11.2 percent.

That comes despite a tax rate reduction of 1.5 percent, or 23 cents per one thousand of assessment.
White said if the Council didn’t pass an override of the tax cap and imposed the tax hike anyway, it wouldn’t be allowed to spend the extra revenue. Instead, it would be required to stash the cash in a reserve fund for future use....

7 comments:

Liz said...

Obnoxious. This city needs to reign in spending, not look for ways to go around it.

Liz said...

Off topic, do any candidates have websites outlining their plans for the city or even a simple election campaign site? With candidates skipping debates left and right, I have no idea who stands for what.

gijoe2012 said...

off topic but valid non-the-less.

This is starting to be a real fiasco. People running un-opposed, overwhelming ego's on public display, platforms consisting of one issue.
"Can't wait to vote "

MJ said...

The future of this city lies in increasing its tax base not in further cuts to the budget.

Reigning in pension and insurance benefits which are a good portion of this budget increase (and the school districts, etc) need to be done but further cuts to parks, forestry, highway etc will only hamper the city's ability to draw/retain residents.

A plan must be put in place to lure investment. There are many many examples out there. But it will be a risk and it will cost money (either taken in or given out) and people will complain. We need a leader to push it through.

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

Increasing tax base means creating jobs. You can't create jobs when it's too expensive to do business here. (and that's a problem for not only Lockport, but all of NYS)

I realize it's a catch 22, but reigning in spending is the only way to get the ball rolling in the right direction (in addition to investment, like you mentioned.)

I'm all for spending when it's for parks, arts, quality of life, etc. I'll even pay more for those services. But I'm not for spending increases because a department head has decided he wants a 40k salary increase or because the unions won't give a little on health care and pension. I'm paying more for less on my health care this year, why shouldn't they also suffer the same pain the rest of us have to?

This administration is too ready to rubber stamp spending when we should be dissecting it and looking for cost savings. Case in point, twice on the record now (and possibly more, not sure) Pasceri has said "We can't quantify economic benefits of the Canal Concerts but it's my opinion that they do produce economic benefits."

Whether or not I agree with her is another matter (for the record, I agree with her stance that likely they do, and I want them to stay which is why I'm torn because I'm not a fan of Tucker but Pillot wanting to ax them is enough reason for me not to vote for him). However, she is Common Council President. Shouldn't SHE know if this expenditure actually *IS* producing economic benefits?

Xavier said...

It's literally impossible to quantify the monetary benefit to the City of Lockport. If you'd like, you could go to every restaurant, gas station, convenience store and ask them for their receipts on the nights in question. You'd then have to have the same information from them on those Friday nights before the Concert Series began. What's that? Five years ago? They're not going to share at any rate.
If you can come up with a mathematical theory by which the City could do this, all power to you!
Pillot has two planks in his platform: 1. No more concerts because I (Mike) hate them and 2. I hate the garbage program.
Well - the Garbage Program is off great guns and all you have to do vis a vis the Concert Series is stay home. I'd love to hear what he plans to do about anything else in the City.
I also find it peculiar that he didn't start going to Council Meetings 'til he decided to run, again, for Mayor. Where does he volunteer? Is he in Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.? I didn't think so.
It's one of those devil you know situations. The guy can't even speak coherently and, yes, I'm one who cringes when the other guy speaks but at least HE SPEAKS! Pillot doesn't do anything.

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