State senator briefs village trustees on the recent state legislative session.
Bringing his “town hall” tour to Mount Kisco, state Sen. Greg Ball stressed getting more help locally on fiscal issues.
While the newly enacted property tax cap, which limits the annual levy to the lesser of two percent or inflation, was not seen as perfect, Ball described it as bringing mandate relief to more prominence as an issue.
“We’re going to have to tweak this thing to get it right,” Ball said of the cap.
Still, Ball described the cap as providing relief for homeowners becoming overburdened.
Mayor Michael Cindrich urged there to be more attention paid at the state level for mandates such as having local governments continue to give full pay to employees awaiting word on disability compensation, as well as stormwater regulations for communities in New York City’s watershed.
Responding, Ball urged communication with his mandate advisory council. He also acknowledged, however, that some mandates “represent progress,” citing special education requirements for school districts that are above federal guidelines, despite cost concerns.
Describing a notable example of unfunded mandates, Trustee Anthony Markus pointed to state requirements for local governments to contribute to employee pensions. He also raised Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for a new pension tier.
In response, Ball acknowledged recent volatility in annual contributions, and noted his support for legislation—it was vetoed by Cuomo—that would have allowed local entities to borrow money to cover their pension obligations.
“Promises that have been made, need to be kept,” Ball said of current pensions. (READ MORE)