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Hastings Reacts to Property Tax Cap Law

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski sent out a message to residents recently explaining the state’s new 2 percent property tax cap limits and what it could mean for the village.

“We’ve all been sold a bill of goods in terms of how this cap is being described and marketed, and it is rarely described for what it is because it requires more than a five-second sound bite,” Swiderski said in the message.

The state's new 2 percent property tax cap limits the amount a school district or local government can raise through taxes. School districts can override the tax cap with approval from 60 percent of voters and local governments can override the cap if 60 percent of the members of a governing board – the town board, village board, county board, etc. – vote to approve a waiver to the tax cap.

Swiderski made it a point to let residents know that the board intends to honor the law this year and intends to pass a budget that will work under the levy cap.  He said the village will not seek to override the cap.  He did describe the tax cap as “deeply troubling” long term though.

“The long-term trajectory is not good for our civil society,” Swiderski said.  “Especially if inflation picks up, God forbid.”

Some local residents thought that the long message Swiderski sent out to the community was a great idea.

“I thought that mayor Swiderski did a very good job of explaining a lot of the nuances and why two percent is not necessarily what our tax is going to be,” said Jim Metzger, a 12 year resident of Hastings.

Metzger also said the letter to residents was a way of being open with residents that he appreciated.

“I thought the mayor’s letter was just brilliantly done,” Metzger said.  “Peter reaching out to the community with these informative emails is a real breath of fresh air,” he said about Swiderski. “It’s really the way you hope local government would work.  They’re keeping people informed of big issues so we can weigh in.”

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