SL Board opts not to change fiscal year

SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees opted to turn down a resolution that would have changed the fiscal year's start date from June to January.

The board didn't officially vote the resolution down because the measure didn't have the three vote majority to carry. But the majority of "no" votes was enough to effectively kill the bill.

Trustee Christine Fontana had been in favor of the resolution, but last night cited negative feedback she'd received from numerous residents.

"It's a hardship on the taxpayer," she said. "I'm not sure this is going to fly."

Trustee Susan Waters said the measure would have put a burden on the taxpayers for the convenience of the village.

"As I said the last time we spoke about it, it seems to me we're putting a burden on the taxpayers for a convenience to us that just doesn't seem all that necessary," she said. "It doesn't seem like that great a hardship to us."

For Trustee John McEneany, the main issue that arises due to the offset fiscal years between the town and village is fire contracts.

"The one item that keeps coming up to the board has always been the fire contracts and the payments being split between two years," he said. But Village Manager Marty Murphy indicated there was a way to fix that problem.

"In the contracts that are pending, there's one payment so it's no longer split," he said. "Although we don't receive the payment until the following six months."

Trustee Jeff Branch echoed Waters, noting that January is

a difficult time of year and it's unfair to pile village taxes on top of county and town taxes.

Mayor Tom Michael still believes it makes more sense to change the fiscal year.

"The only thing I can say publicly to the folks who think it's going to be a hardship is we're talking about reducing levels of government, so it's all going to be there someday, and it's going to go back to January, not June," he said.

A second bill that would have established the manner of tax collection for the village was discarded. That measure would have adopted a new tax payment scheduled had the resolution changing the fiscal year passed.

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