Skaneateles mayor, trustee disagree on tax increase

Board adopts 2014-15 budget by 4-1vote

The Skaneateles Village Board voted 4-1 in favor of adopting the proposed operating budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year at its April 24 meeting.

The general fund budget will be $2,780,177. Of that, the village will raise $1,500,835 from property taxes, a 1.93 increase from the current year.

Under the budget, the tax rate will increase from $3.58 to $3.62 per $1,000 of assessed value — an increase of 1.1 percent. A house valued at $275,000 will pay $995.50 in taxes to the village an increase of $11 from the current rate.

The “no” vote, a rarity for the board, came from Trustee Jim Lanning, who stated: “It is my opinion there is no justification for a property tax increase at this time, so I’ll vote no.”

After the meeting, Lanning said that raising taxes shouldn’t be done solely because of the state’s tax cap.

“We have a 2 percent property tax cap which means that [2 percent] is the most that we can raise it any one year, so to get around that some municipalities are just raising taxes every year. The town board for the past three or four year has actually reduced the tax rate, so we can do it here at the village as well,” he said.

The village has reserve funds, close to $1 million, it could use to balance the budget without a tax increase, he said. After talking to the state comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, he learned that the amount of reserve funds the village has is close to being considered excessive by the state.

Mayor Marty Hubbard, who acts as the village’s chief financial officer, had a different view on the budget.

“With the New York state tax cap in place, it is fiscally responsible to annually raise taxes within that limit,” Hubbard said.

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if 1 year, 9 months ago

Mike Byrne is incorrect in his interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But we should not be surprised as he is an attorney charged with justifying and interpreting the ADA to enable the Village Mayor to "take cover" of the fact that a person in a wheelchair cannot open the door to the new Village Hall.

Again I beg of you Joe to look into this further. To contact ADA attorneys and get to the bottom of this.

Jim Lanning is on the record stating that Connie Brace plans and specs required a push button ADA compliant front entrance and during a construction meeting Marty Hubbard deleted the item to save money. Ask Jim? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


JoeGenco 1 year, 9 months ago

http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm The ADA gives guidelines on the force required to open certain doors and the speed with which they close. There is no requirement for doors that open electronically with a button, aside from elevator doors. One could still make the case that the village aught to have those type of doors, but it isn't an issue of them disregarding the federal law.


if 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you Joe. You are correct the force required to open a door is a guideline and that force requires automatic opening mechanisms for persons in a wheelchair. That is why you see these devices on the majority of buildings as the architects require this item.

Did you find out if Connie Brace specified this item as Jim Lanning has stated and did you ask Jim to confirm that the Mayor removed the item for the construction specifications and contract?


if 1 year, 9 months ago

Joe as I re-read your statement: "One could still make the case that the village aught to have those type of doors, but it isn't an issue of them disregarding the federal law." I get the impression you are defending their decision. Did you test the doors in today's south wind to ensure no more than 5 lbs of force was required to open the door? Have you sat in a wheelchair and attempted to open the door and get in without getting jammed in the door and hurt. You are young, now imagine an older person with limitations? I would like to know if you personally believe an automatic push door should be installed or it is ok the way it is?


SkanLaker 1 year, 9 months ago

Access to our public buildings that we, as taxpayers own, should be for everyone. I plead to the Village Board to install a push button to open that front door. I am not in a wheelchair but I cannot imagine how someone in a wheelchair could open that door and get in without getting stuck and hurt. We need to show compassion and respect for our disabled or elderly regardless of some law or code.


CSPC 1 year, 9 months ago

Village Hall should have a door that opens with a push button. We spent so much money and it just is common sense to put one of those in.


BoheaTea 1 year, 9 months ago

Connie Brace specified an automatic door push button for the front door. Don't blame her for it not being there.


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