Updated 09/24/2012 10:43 PM
Endicott trustees want 50-50 split
The Village of Endicott is looking forward to returning to an old tax revenue split formula. As our Elyse Mickalonis explains, trustees say the impact of the Huron’s campus reassessment was huge on the village. They think returning to the old 50-50 split could help them get back on track.
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ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- The recent reassessment of the Huron campus has left village trustees in Endicott looking for ways to fill a big budget gap.
“We knew we were going to get a hit, but we just didn’t know it was going to be that big,” said Endicott Deputy Mayor Dave Baker.
Trustees say they believe returning to an old 50-50 sales tax revenue split could help combat the deficit. The tax sharing formula was changed in 2011, but would be gradually restored under the budget proposed by Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
“The money was divided up amongst all the municipalities based up population, so if you’ve got two percent, you get two percent, ten percent you get ten percent and so on. That was changed in 2011, so the county kept more and the villages and towns got less,” said Baker.
For Endicott, it's the restoration of the old formula that could help them gain $330,000. Trustees say they need the extra money soon, because village is facing a $1.8 million deficit.
“Eight million dollars was redirected to the county from the towns and villages,” said Baker. “At the time, it might have been the right decision to do, but now we need to revenue that and get the $335,000. That’s our piece of the pie.”
Village trustees say if the split doesn’t come into effect soon, they’ll have to make some tough decisions.
“The tax rate we’re talking about on the village taxpayers is roughly 20 percent. It’s unacceptable to them and us. Or we reduce our services,” said Baker. “There are three departments that are funded by the general fund budget, that’s the one being hit, that’s police, fire and streets. Who do we hit?”
If the 50-50 split doesn't take effect soon, village officials say they'll keep looking for other ways to fill the gap.
The county executive's office says while the 50-50 restoration will take several years, Preston has provided some immediate relief by including a 10 percent increase in sales tax revenue to the city, towns and villages in her budget. Preston's opponent in the upcoming election, Tarik Abdelazim, recently criticized the County Executive for moving too slowly and says restoring the re-distribution should be done immediately.