Town leader says it's time to stage protest in Albany

QUEENSBURY - Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty has called for his fellow Warren County supervisors join up with frustrated property owners across the Adirondacks to conduct a mass protest demonstration in Albany.

"It's time we band together and show our displeasure with the state's proposals on taxation and tightening land-use restrictions," he said.

Gov. David Paterson has proposed a cap on the state's property tax payments to local entities on land the state owns, and county supervisors are upset about the financial squeeze local municipalities would suffer.

The measure would freeze payments on the land at the 2008 levels regardless of current assessed value. Towns in Northern Warren County would be particularly hard hit.

Geraghty and other supervisors have also complained about how the state has proposed slashing reimbursements to counties to fund programs the state mandates.

The state is shifting the tax burden to the local municipalities without easing mandates or restrictions, they argue.

"The nurses, teachers and union members demonstrate at the Capital and get what they want," he said in an angry tone at the Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting Jan. 16. "Let's get on a bus, go to Albany and show our displeasure."

Geraghty and other supervisors said Adirondack officials should make their voice be heard over the clamor of special interest groups who are protesting cuts in education, health care and other areas.

Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec agreed with Geraghty, citing how the proposed tax cap was unjust.

"A lot of homeowners would love to send in tax payments no higher than in prior years, but if they did, there would be legal action to seize their property," he said.

Geraghty and other supervisors cited how tightening Adirondack Park Agency restrictions on shoreline development would depress land values - and thus reduce government tax revenues from citizens who could best afford property taxes.

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