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Clarkstown Could Face $2 Million In Unexpected Expenses

Supervisor says shift of costs from county to town will have impact

 

Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack addressed residents Tuesday night about the financial implications for the town of Rockland County’s fiscal crisis. Gromack outlined the series of costs that the county wants to make the responsibility of the five towns in Rockland.  He estimated Clarkstown would face $2 million for Board of Election services, c fees and other costs.

“There has been a tremendous push by the county executive and the legislature to shift a lot of costs that we believe are costs that the county must bear and there is an attempt to shift them to the five towns,” said Gromack.

The county is facing at least an $80 million deficit and is asking the state legislature to approve a for that amount. According to Gromack, there are four services that the town may have to determine how to fund that have not been included in its budget: 

  • Board of Elections - $434,000
  • Rockland Community College (RCC) chargeback fees - $584,000
  • Countywide Police Intelligence Unit - $543,239 for two officers
  • Countywide Police Narcotics Task Force - $446,000 for four officers

“These certainly are chilling numbers we will have to deal with unless things are reversed,” he said.

Gromack said RCC receives $2.8 million in tuition fees from out-of-county students who are enrolled there. He said that revenue is not shared with the towns and therefore it is not appropriate for the college to pass along the costs of Rockland resident who attend community colleges in other parts of the state.

The supervisor said the county’s deficit could be significantly higher than the $80 million now stated.  In light of that he said the county’s shift of about $10 million of costs to the towns does not erase the deficit.

He also spoke about the new taxes that the county is imposing on residents. Gromack noted the county tax rate increased 30 percent; the hotel/motel tax went up three percent, the cell phone 911-tax rose by three percent. He said the four percent increase for residential energy use is equivalent to another 30 county property tax rate.

Council member Stephanie Hausner added that if the $2 million in costs were actually passed along to Clarkstown, it would be difficult for the town to stay under the two percent property tax cap.

Gromack spoke prior to the start of the regular Town Board meeting and said he will update residents on regular basis as needed. He said the five towns are united in their effort in fighting the transfer of the county costs. 

Mike Hirsch June 20, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I think that informing the public as to the budgetary difficulties that the town will be facing in the coming years due to the ineptitude of the county is a smart and a good move by Alex. The Clarkstown Taxpayer group has been pushing the town to do zero based budgeting since our formation three years ago. They are finally seeing the light because they can no longer ignore it. I would hope that our town leaders will start viewing the Clarkstown Taxpayer group more as a self appointed Board of Directors whose only goal is government responsibilty, rather than as a nuisance. The Clarkstown Taxpayer group has been ahead of the curve in regards to government accountability for the past three years. I'm very happy that our elected officials are starting to learn and act on some of our concerns. Better late than never. If the county is shifting two million to Clarkstown that will raise our budget by about 1.5%. Alex should have every department cut their budget by that amount for starters. www.clarkstowntaxpayers.com
Rick June 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
If you are going to pitch your own website on Patch at least put some advertising on it and get paid for potential clicks. As a not-for-profit group those could help cover some web-hosting costs.
Brenda M June 20, 2012 at 04:10 PM
A reading of this recent article by the clarkstown taxpayers http://newcity.patch.com/blog_posts/clarkstown-and-africa-friends-and-phone-calls  indicates that the mother-in-law of a legislator in the county government wanted Gromack elected and then Gromack gave her lawyer a job and her lawyer is a friend of the county legislator.  So what's the difference in whether the county sends me a tax bill or the county sends it to the town to give it to me?  The bottom line is the bill comes to me!  Gromack says the county is shifting taxes to the town but we are the ones paying for the taxes after all of the shell games are over. As far as I am concerned I don't care who sends me an increased tax bill I am voting against any incumbent - period!  Vanderhoef was forced into layoffs - Gromack won't lay anyone off and he ran from the PBA and gave an overpaid police force a raise at my expense.  Out!  Out!  Out!   All of them out at the next election.
Don June 20, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Some not-for-profit groups can get free hosting from numerous hosting companies.
alan June 20, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Some cops cousin told me he's so bored on his shift he plays solitare all night long
Think4urself June 20, 2012 at 05:21 PM
This is the nation's highest paid police force. They're playing card games with the taxpayers hard earned dollars! When you think about it, who are the real thieves in this county?
Richard Kavesh June 20, 2012 at 06:42 PM
The Rockland County Board of Elections, the Rockland County Police Intelligence Unit, the Rockland County Police Narcotics Task Force, and Rockland Community College are all providing countywide services, and the county should absorb the costs and charge countywide taxes accordingly. Anything else is just passing the bucks. If the county wants to (and I'm sure it will), it can reduce the paltry amount of crumbs in revenue sharing that it chooses to dish out from the county coffers in New City to us vassals in the towns and villages.
INTHEKNOW June 20, 2012 at 08:37 PM
and if they started the cuts by not paving your street, fixing a pothole, or streetlight, you would be the first one to call up and complain.
INTHEKNOW June 20, 2012 at 08:38 PM
my cousins' sister's mother in law brother told me i was gorgeous once.. what does that prove.
Mike Hirsch June 21, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Not so Jack. Any fool running a company in the private sector could cut 1 1/2% without a cut in services with his eyes closed.
Tony T July 19, 2012 at 10:21 PM
How about doing away with some of those fake, phony jobs for your friends and political cronies!!!
Tony T July 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Why dosen't the Clarktown Dept of Personnel post jobs electronically on their web site??? Can any one guess@

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