SENATOR MARCELLINO SECURES $2.4 MILLION TO OFFSET POTENTIAL TAX SHIFT FROM GWL PLANT DECOMMISSIONING; EXPLAINS PROPERTY TAX REBATE PROGRAM
April 7, 2014 -- Responding to questions from Northwordnews regarding the recently passed state budget, Senator Carl Marcellino (R,I,C - Oyster Bay) announced that he was able to secure a $2.4 million grant for the North Shore School District to help cushion residents from a potential tax hike resulting from the decommissioning of the Glenwood Landing Power Plant. This is in addition to the $2 million that the Senator was able to garner for the district last year, and to the $500,000 secured each of the past two years by Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove).
That brings the total funding thus far from Albany that is earmarked to protect residents from a spike in their taxes, and North Shore students from cuts to their educational programs, to $5.4 million, as National Grid, the owner of the Glenwood Landing property, seeks to reduce its assessment while demolition of portions of the plant continues.
The amount of the tax burden shift at this point is uncertain. However, school district officials have stated that both Nassau County and State officials have given verbal assurances that district taxpayers will, for the time being, be protected by New York State real property tax law 1803 which limits to 5% a tax shift from one property class to another (in this case, utility to residential), and by an amendment to the law that has been passed annually for the last several years that further limits that shift to 1%.
PROPERTY TAX REBATE PROGRAM
In response to questions regarding the state's new property tax rebate system, which provides incentives to school districts and municipalities to stay within the tax levy limit and to further cut costs, Senator Marcellino said that the program "would provide direct relief to taxpayers in school districts and municipalities that stay within the two percent property tax cap and submit efficiency plans to the state that result in local cost savings of at least one percent or have already implemented cost reduction plans at the local level."
"As many as 2.8 million property taxpayers outside New York City will
receive direct property tax rebate checks in October as a result of this
program which will encourage communities to keep property taxes under
control," he said. "After this year the relief will come in the form of a tax credit
on their annual income tax return."
Pressed as to whether the program would cause many schools to further cut educational programs, Senator Marcellino replied that because of his background as an educator for 20 years, he "helped lead the successful effort to secure more than $1.1 billion in additional education aid in the new 2014-2015 State Budget, and supported allocating $602 million to address problems caused by the 2010 passage of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) which reduced state support to public schools in order to help close the state’s budget gap.
"For the North Shore School District that translates to a 9.2% increase in State Aid over last year’s budget," he said.
He added that he would continue efforts to deliver increases in state aid and working on mandate relief "to continue to get the best education possible while enabling our families to keep more of their money."
Additionally, Senator Marcellino said the North Shore School District will receive $413,397 in technology funding, if voters approve the Statewide referendum for the Smart School Bond Act.
"I know the difficulty of budgeting with ever rising costs, the State of New York is also living within the 2% spending cap," he said.
"No one is saying that it is easy for the district’s to maximize their efficiencies, but it is necessary. The goal should be to prioritize spending in the classroom where it has the largest impact on student and teacher success."
Northwordnews supplied questions to Senator Marcellino through his "Mobile Office," which was at Sea Cliff Library on Thursday April 3rd. Professional Staffers Ellen Savino and Samantha Goetz were on hand to address residents concerns and offer assistance to constituents, as well as to relay questions back to the Senator.
Ms. Savino explained, "we do this annually - visiting each community in the district to make it easier to speak to constituents about local issues. Our office is in Oyster Bay and for some it is not that easy to get to.
"We are here to discuss and find out about an issues or concerns of constituents, it's a way to get closer to the people."
Senator Marcellino's Mobile Office will return to the Sea Cliff Library on Friday April 11 from 1-4 pm
BACK TO HOME PAGE
Ellen Savino and Samantha Goetz, professional staffers for Senator Marcellino, were on hand at the Sea Cliff Library this past Thursday to address residents concerns and offer assistance to constituents, as well as to relay questions back to the Senator.