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North Country Assembly members comfortable with tax cap bill

Addie Russell says the tax cap discussion is leaving out one important factor, especially as it relates to the North Country.

"In the North Country, for the most part, our taxes are fairly reasonable," she said. "We do have a couple communities that have very high property taxes, but you have to understand that many governmental units have been very prudent."

Just last week, voters overwhelmingly approved school budgets across northern New York - many that featured tax increases below 2 percent. Meanwhile, towns and villages have been able to hold the line on taxes, and in some cases, officials have lowered taxes.

On the surface, that should mean Albany's cap won't have a huge impact in the North Country. But Russell says that can change all too quickly.

"If an emergency arises, or things like the price of fuel continue to escalate, 2 percent of a raise on our budgets is not very much in a dollar amount," she said. "So communities that have done a good job of controlling their expenses are going to be put in a more difficult position when things out of their control start to increase in price."

Despite a few reservations among North Country lawmakers, the Assembly bill looks to be headed toward passage - Democrats control that chamber and are likely to get in line behind Sheldon Silver.

Sayward and Duprey, both Republicans, say they'll vote for the bill if it comes up for a vote next week.

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