City Officials Pass Tax Cap Override

Jamestown City Council discussed a way to protect itself from the state of New York Monday.

During a City Council worksession, city officials discussed a local law to exceed the state’s 2 percent property tax cap. Joe Bellitto, Jamestown comptroller, said it is recommended by state agencies to pass the tax cap override in case there is an error and city officials accidentally exceed the 2 percent property tax limit. He said this is more of a procedural measure. However, he said as final preparations are done to the tentative budget, city officials will have many difficult decisions to make before passing the 2014 budget. The preliminary executive budget is scheduled to be released Tuesday, Oct. 8.

”You should be aware this is another tough year,” Bellitto said.

Anthony Dolce, Ward 2 councilman, said the tax cap override resolution was also passed last year, but was not utilized as the approved budget was under the state’s property tax limit.

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said the tax cap override is a logical measure to pass to protect city officials in case there is a dispute with how the state calculates the tax cap. Teresi said with inflation, the tax cap is around 1.6 percent for the 2014 city budget.

”This at least protects us in the process,” he said.

In other business, Cory Duckworth, Jamestown Community College president, appeared in front of the council to introduce himself as the new leader at the higher educational institution. Duckworth said he has been on the job about six weeks and is pleasantly surprised by how many people’s lives have been affected by either going to JCC or knowing someone who attended the school. He said he is a political science degree graduate and understands the dedication city council members have for their community.

”I have a deep appreciation for the time and effort you put in,” he said.

Duckworth said he is looking forward to the new state initiative Start-Up NY. The new economic policy will foster entrepreneurialism and job creation on a large scale by transforming public higher education through tax-free communities across the state, particularly upstate. Also, the new JCC president said he is looking forward to moving the school forward by offering education in new ways thanks to technology.

”Higher education is changing with the Internet,” he said. ”We have to be aggressive and learn how to deliver education in high-quality ways.”