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Mayor Wants Sleepy Hollow To Override Tax Cap

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray will urge the village board to override the tax cap law even if the budget remains flat, he told trustees and the public on Tuesday.

“I'm still going to urge the board to over the thing because we just don't know enough about the rules yet and the state is handcuffing us on this,” he said.

The village board discussed the impact of the tax cap law on the 2012-13 budget during its Tuesday work session. Village Treasurer Sara DiGiacomo presented estimated numbers of the budget if nothing changed and dispelled myths about the tax cap.

The tax cap limits the amount of money a municipality can raise through tax levies to 2 percent. Village boards can override the tax cap with a 60 percent majority of its members. DiGiacomo was quick to point out that the tax cap does not mean actual taxes won't increase above 2 percent because the law only pertains to the tax levy, not tax rate.

“It could be much more than 2 percent,” she said.

Wray said he was in favor of overriding the tax cap because the law was fairly complicated and the rules were changing all the time, adding that he feels the state was “making up all of the rules as they go along.” Wray also noted the state won't be checking to see if municipalities have stayed within the tax cap until further down the road. He urged the cap override to protect future village governments.

Years later, Wray said, the state could tell the village “'You made a mistake, you went over 2 percent and so now we're going to nail you for that.'”

Trustee Bruce Campbell agreed with Wray, saying the tax cap went against the idea that communities can govern themselves.

“We've done a pretty good job of controlling our expenses and managing our resources,” he said. “We don't need to be reinforced by the state to do that.”

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