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Wednesday morning, November 25, I met with a couple colleagues and OMB Director Cheryl Frasca to prepare an “S” version of the budget, something I mentioned in my previous post. I wouldn’t call it perfect, but here’s how it differs from the mayor’s original plan:
It’s looking to be a long night here at the Assembly, with discussion of a number of budget amendments slated to consume the latter half of our evening. Despite that, I don’t expect final action tonight. Here’s my best guess: (more…)
Attending a local community council meeting earlier this week one of my neighbors prefaced a question to me by noting that, “All politics is local.” I suspect he didn’t know I actually happen to own the book sporting that title, authored by former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill, but it resonated with me at a later meeting on Friday.
Amendments to the 2010 operating budget were “due” Monday, thereby allowing a review prior to Thursday’s Budget & Finance committee meeting. Technically any Assembly member can offer an amendment at any point in the process but offering them early offers members and the administration to mull them over and offer input. In an effort to take advantage of collective wisdom I submitted mine, which amount to a little under $1.65 million, ahead of the deadline. Here they are:
A comment responding to my previous post asked:
Would you be willing to write a post on the tax cap?
My understanding, which was clearly flawed, was that the cap made it effectively impossible for the city to lower taxes by recapping at the lower dollar amount if taxes were lowered for a year. From your post, I presume that you can lower taxes for a year without readjusting the cap.
Thanks! And thanks for keeping us informed.
The answer is yes, though it might be simpler to summarize the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, here goes. First off, the tax cap was adopted as a charter amendment in the 1983 municipal election and recently modified in the 2009 election, and here’s how it reads:
On the eve of our second (and final) public hearing on the 2010 municipal budget proposal comes news the mayor vetoed an Assembly resolution supporting use of state municipal assistance, estimated at $15 million, for property tax relief. He prefers to use those dollars for city services. This issue may seem rather esoteric, especially since it has no effect on how much property tax you pay in 2010, but it is the primary structural question to be addressed before finalizing the budget.
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