Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The City of New Hartford?

Recently County Executive Picente proposed changing the sales tax distribution if the State imposes a property tax cap.  In a display of bravado, Town Supervisor Tyksinski responded with a threat to incorporate  New Hartford as a city, which would give it a larger share of the sales tax take.

It is an interesting proposal.

Mr. Tyksinski believes that there would be more than enough money from the sales tax revenue to cover the additional costs associated with more roads to maintain and having a professional fire department.

The big question is what happens to the villages?  According to the newspaper article, The Village of New Hartford and Village of New York Mills would first have to dissolve into the Town. Village residents might be enticed to do this because dissolution would eliminate duplicative taxation. Right now village residents pay for their own services, and often pay for duplicate services in the unincorporated areas of the Town (e.g. New York Mills residents pay for both a Village library and a Town library). While dissolution into a Town would preserve village residents liabilities to fix their sewer systems (as we heard when Whitesboro proposed a dissolution), later incorporation into a city may turn these into city-wide liabilities. Actually, that might be a fair result because as it stands now, development in the unincorporated areas of the Town depends on removal of storm water from village sewers. The Villages could off-load a $14+ Million responsibility to make sewer repairs onto City of New Hartford residents.

Then there is the possibility that the Villages might not want to be incorporated into a city. New York Mills would be the biggest question in this regard. Straddling two towns, it is doubtful that its residents would be willing to split NYM in two. In addition, there is no "love" in NYM for NH because NYM residents get little for their town taxes. NYM has the density to support municipal services.  Being left OUT of the City of New Hartford would do NYM residents a big favor by eliminating the duplicate taxation.

Perhaps NYM could incorporate itself as a city, too and eliminate all Town taxes within its borders... AND grab a larger share of sales tax revenue just like NH!

This City idea is something to consider! Lets all become cities!


Anonymous said...

Incorporating into a city makes no sense. Sure they would see a larger share of sales tax revenue, but they would see an even larger expense of dpw, firefighers, police, codes, etc., that make the revenue seen from sales tax totally worthless!

Anonymous said...

With all due respect... Please understand there is a difference being professional and paid in regards to the fire dept issue in this topic. You can be both or neither. And same goes for those brave souls who volunteer for this line of endeavor for nothing in return except to assist their neighbors and community in emergencies. Just because they are looking into being a city doesn't mean the fire service needs to be paid. That's simply ignorant.

Raleigh said...

Why not take it to the next level? Look into the merits of Utica annexing the whole bunch of them. With the right leadership and vision, the region could become a powerhouse instead of a collection of squabbling siblings all going in different directions..

Rebecca Mecomber said...

I think New Hartford as a city makes sense, once they can afford it.

I am 100% against Utica annexing ANYTHING. They can't even clean their own house. The problem with this area is not the squabbling, it's the gross mismanagement and corruption.

Strikeslip said...

Hi Ms. M!!!! I know the thought of merging with Utica makes you cringe. :D

(1) I don't think NH can afford to be a city. If they tally the costs they will realize that it is expensive to extend municipal services to sparsely populated areas with a small population base. (NH already gets a "boost" by sharing water and sewer services with the 62,000 residents next door in Utica. It could not afford these on its own.)

(2) NH is every bit as corrupt and mismanaged as Utica... maybe more so because NH is where all the $$$ has gone. NH only seems less so because it seldom is reported upon.

I go to Council/Board meetings in both Utica and NH. Democracy seems more alive and well in Utica than NH -- the arguing providing entertainment to many -- but it is better than the quick rubber-stamping that seems to characterize NH (Tho one board member is starting to make a difference).

But to make my usual point:

This region will NEVER prosper as long as NH competes with Utica for scarce resources. New Hartford is the region's biggest stumbling block to progress.

Anonymous said...

ITs Not a stumbling block if you live there and are happy living there. I moved out of Utica and its craziness years ago. I know you are gonna tell me that the politicos in NH are all corrupt etc. etc. Utica has had its share as well. I traded safer streets, Plowed roads, and a friendly home town feel for the desolute, dumpy, metro, ghetto that a good half of the whole city has become.

I totally get what you preach about sprawl and all that, but I will not ever ever be a part of that city again. I will continue to move further away from it all, as will hundreds of other people. I dont know if there will ever be common ground on this.

Strikeslip said...

Anonymous - I understand that you don't ever want to be part of "that city" -- but please consider that it will NOT be "that city" anymore if and when it includes the suburbs. The city will be considerably bigger in both population and area. Decisions will reflect what is good for everyone rather than just one area. Economically we will much stronger.

As long as we remain divided, we will continue to work cross-purposes to each other, wasting valuable economic energy and time.

I think Greater Utica has the ability to successfully compete with other parts of the country ... but it will never happen as long as its parts keep bickering with each other.