State relents on tax payment freeze

Monroe cautioned that although the bullet was dodged this year, the attempt to freeze state tax payments may become a reoccurring theme in future budgets.

With the ever-increasing cost of general operation, a property tax freeze would require the local base to shoulder more of the burden, officials said.

The real crime, according to Sayward, was that while the state was attempting to shirk its own financial responsibilities, it was also imposing greater taxes on state residents.

"This budget is going to hurt the middle class," Sayward said. "Even if their income taxes aren't affected they will pay more for vehicle registration, more for driver's licenses, more for beer, wine and hunting licenses."

Traditionally opposed factions of conservative politicians and liberal environmental groups were all pleased with the death of the proposed measure.

"While it's not final yet, we are very pleased that this ill-conceived policy has been stricken from the budget," said Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club. "The freeze would have had a significant fiscal impact on communities in the Adirondacks, Catskills and other parts of the state and would have crippled the state's open-space program."

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