continued Scozzafava would like to see the state impose fees on tires, vehicle parts, supplies and vehicle registrations. Those fees could then be used to create a dedicated fund for highway and bridge repair and maintenence.
“The state has to do something,” Scozzafava said. “We can’t let our infrastructure fall to pieces.”
Property taxes aren’t fair to land owners, Scozzafava said, noting the value of a home does not necessarily reflect a person’s ability to pay taxes.
“Property values are not a good measure of a community’s ability to pay taxes,” McDonald said, noting the existence of many high-value second homes in the park. “A community can have high property values, but its year-round residents may not be able to afford higher school taxes.”
He used Ticonderoga as an example. The Ti school district, which borders both Lake George and Lake Champlain, has the highest property values in this area. Yet, the school serves free or reduced price lunches to 48 percent of its students.
The Adirondack Park has changed since it was created in 1892, officials note. Then it was 2.6 million acres. Now it’s 6.1 million acres. The APA was formed in 1971 and regulations adopted to restrict development. Also, the state forest preserve has more than doubled.
“The park is a unique resource that New Yorkers should be proud of,” McDonald said, “but what has not been fully considered throughout its evolution and growth is the negative impact on the public educational institutions and the children they serve.”