By Tom Bartley
Sen. Greg Ball stopped by the Bedford town board meeting, which was preceded by a budget work session and followed by a meeting with the Bedford Community Theatre.
Republican State Sen. Greg Ball of Patterson brought his traveling legislative review to town hall Tuesday, and found his official audience—a three-member town board—less than enthusiastic about some of Albany’s accomplishments.
The board was especially critical of a state-imposed 2 percent limit on the amount that property taxes—the town’s principal source of revenue—may increase in any year. Coupled with so-called “unfunded mandates”—multiple things the state demands of the town but does not finance—the 2 percent tax cap “is very hard to achieve,” Supervisor Lee V.A. Roberts told Ball. “We’ve been cutting [the budget] for three years.”
Councilman Chris Burdick said that as a result of those cuts, which had already steeply pared town outlays, the tax cap’s arrival now “is almost punitive.” Bedford was put at a disadvantage “because we’ve been fiscally prudent,” he said. “I really think those unfunded mandates had to be addressed first” by the legislature. (READ MORE)