Friday, September 19, 2014

Report: Dissolving Bloomingburg means tax bonus for Town of Mamakating 

The Town of Mamakating will receive a $610,000 annual state grant if Village of Bloomingburg residents approve the referendum to dissolve into the town on Sept. 30, according to a report by planning consultants.

The report, written by the Laberge Group of Albany, was released a week before residents were to hear a presentation on the dissolution plans on Sept. 23. It details how much the tax levy in both the village and town would decrease.

Mamakating Supervisor Bill Herrmann said the report showed the benefits of dissolving Bloomingburg into the town.

If the dissolution is approved, the town could then apply for a state tax credit.

The report provided two options for that credit:

It could apply 100 percent of the credit and village residents would see a 12.8 percent tax reduction, while town residents would receive a 16.3 percent decrease.

Or it could apply a minimum of 70 percent of the credit and village residents would see a 10 percent reduction in taxes while town residents would receive an 11.9 percent reduction. The remaining 30 percent must go toward capital improvements. Herrmann wants some of that money to be used for paving roads.

The dissolution would also mean the elimination of several village positions. This would include the two trustee positions, the mayor’s position and the village attorney’s position. According to the report, the village’s tax collector position would be added to the town’s payroll.

The report also addresses zoning laws. It said the town could choose to adopt the village’s zoning regulations or form a “hamlet” zoning district to choose how it would want land in the former village to be used. Zoning regulations are crucial since the town is trying to cope with a growing Hasidic population. A determination must be made in the two years following the referendum vote or the village’s regulations would be repealed.

As for the village’s lone traffic light: the report said the town would be required to spend $1,250 to maintain it – compared with the $2,500 the village now spends.

Village Mayor Frank Gerardi believes the dissolution will work out as “a positive” and will save both sides money.

“If that’s what the people want, that’s what the people get,” Gerardi said.


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