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Adirondack officials voice dire warnings over tax-cap proposal

The remaining private property would have to shoulder the burden that the state is shedding, he said, multiplying any property-tax shortfall by four times.

If a routine annual tax increase of 3 percent were capped to zero by the state, Farber said, private property owners would suffer a 12 percent increase.

"This tax cap flies in face of the state Constitution, and its impact on education will be devastating," he said.

Essex County Manager Dan Palmer said the state of New York's tax cap meant a first-year savings of about $8.5 million, of which about $800,000 or a full 9 percent of this burden would be shouldered by only 38,000 Essex County residents - a devastating, disproportionate amount per person.

"This is an incredibly unbalanced proposal," he said. "Let's not slam the residents of Adirondacks who are least likely to afford it."

Of this $800,000 Essex County shortfall, $450,000 would be shouldered by taxpayers in his county's school districts, he said.

"How can the state save money on the back of residents of Essex County, which is already in a financial crisis," he said.

Linda Kemper, Chair of the Intercounty Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks had a similarly dire warning.

"In Fulton County, statistics show that 89 percent of our families are struggling," she said. "Already, families are leaving, our young people drive far to find jobs, we're losing our homes, and our businesses are closing - we can't afford to shoulder this new burden."

She said the state needed to pay their fair share, according to the state Constitution.

"State legislators have no idea what it's like to live in our communities and live on our income and struggle to survive," she said, adding that humans were the "endangered species" in the Adirondacks.

Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Fred Monroe was more sedate in his protest.

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