County adopts raises, eyes plastic for taxes

HUDSON–Soon some property owners may have the option to pay their taxes by credit card if all goes according to a plan outlined by  County Attorney Barry Mack, at the August 14 Board of Supervisors Meeting.

In his comments Mr. Back mentioned that many municipalities allow payment of taxes and fees by credit card, and he presented a resolution request that would authorize County Treasurer P.J. Keeler to obtain quotes from three different card service companies.


The question of what fees the county would charge for taxes paid by credit card still needs to be resolved. Given the county’s current emphasis on the collection of delinquent property taxes collection, the process, if ultimately approved, could improve the flow if tax revenue.

The supervisors also heard Columbia Greene County College President James Campion report that the budget for the 2013 school year is $9,000 lower than last year’s spending plan, and that the operating cost figures are down by 2% on a year-over-year basis.

Mr. Campion thanked the supervisors for their continuing support of the school, noting that over 10,000 college alumni continue to enjoy the services the college provides. The roll-call vote on the resolution to approve the community college budget for 2013-14 budget passed unanimously.

In other business:
•Livingston Supervisor Kevin McDonald(R) read a Certificate of Recognition for Trooper John Leplant of Troop K, recently promoted to Technical Sergeant in Albany, noting his 25 years of service, including academy training officer, drug recognition expert, field training officer, senior standardized sobriety field testing instructor and being the number one trooper of 2010.
•Betty Young (R-Taghkanic) presented the resolution for adoption of the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan. “It gives me great pleasure to present this resolution,” she said. Chairman Pat Grattan (R-Kinderhook) complemented Ms. Young for promoting farming in the county.
•The board adopted a resolution to authorize the County Attorney’s Office to request proposals and engage counsel for eminent domain proceedings aimed at acquiring land adjacent to the Columbia County Airport on Route 9H in West Ghent. Supervisor Arthur Bassin (D-Ancram) voted no, suggesting that the county evaluate selling the airport to a private party. Stockport Supervisor Matt Murell (R) and Ms. Young also voted against the resolution.
•A resolution to modify annual salaries of non-union management personnel was put to a roll-call vote, and while it passed, Supervisors Sara Sterling (D-Hudson 1st Ward) Michael Benson (R-New Lebanon) abstained.
“I believe each individual should have been considered separately,” said Mr. Benson.
•Local Law 1-2013, involving raises for certain Columbia County officers, had previously been postponed for 30 days, pending a review of the county’s cash position. The positions and amounts include: Coroner $13,246.59 for each of the three coroners; County Clerk $70,160.00; Election Commissioner $25,000 for each of two; Commissioner of Social Services $91,617; Commissioner of Public Works $103,868; Director of Real Property Tax Services $61,785. The measure passed.
•Local Law 2-2013, authorizing an extension of the mortgage tax, also passed unanimously.
•Local Law 3-2013, which will impose an additional transfer tax on the conveyance of real property within the county, passed, with Gallatin Supervisor Thomas Garrick (R) voting against it.
•County Controller and Auditor Ronald Caponera said he will provide a three-year forecast for pension payments and benefits in time for the next Board of Supervisors meeting.

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