About a half dozen of people in one southern tier village want relief from climbing property taxes. Our Katie Husband tells us how Painted Post officials will discuss dissolving the village this week.
PAINTED POST, N.Y. -- The Village of Painted Post, established in 1803 could be dissolved by 2014 to address a rising problem.
"We don't have any means of improving our property tax base so as costs go up with inflation and the government operation expenses go up, the only way of resolving this is by increasing the property taxes for the residents," said Phyllis Draper, Painted Post Tax Relief Organization co-chair.
Since 2005, town of Erwin residents' taxes only increased by 37-cents per thousand of tax assessed valued property.
"Where as the village tax payers have seen an increase of two dollars per thousand of tax assessed value in order to cover those expenses," said Draper.
The Painted Post Tax Relief Organization has collected over 400 signatures on petitions for a referendum to vote on the dissolution of the village.
"Started a petition process to bring it up for a vote for dissolution of the village. Which seems to be the most viable means of reducing our taxes," said Draper.
Lifting that tax burden for residents is a good thing as Draper pointed out. But, there are concerns if officials do go ahead and dissolve the village. Emergency officials are nervous the departments will be dissolved with the village.
"We are stressing that we will keep the fire department, we will keep the police department. That's our focus to keep the existing services," said Draper.
The village mayor had no comment but Rita McCarthy, Erwin Town Manager said in a statement, "The Town of Erwin believes that the issue of the future of village of Painted Post government is solely a village issue. The town has no position on this issue. The town has assured its taxpayers that in the event the village is consolidated with the town, such consolidation will have no impact on taxes paid by property owners in the town."
Village officials will address the dissolution matter in Tuesday night's meeting. If the village board approves the referendum on Tuesday, dissolving the village will be up to voters. People would vote on the idea in the next two to three months. For more information on the dissolution process you can visit www.paintedposttaxrelief.org.