Newhard to join school property taxes roundtable discussion in Suffern

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:50

    WARWICK-It is certainly timely. Mayor Michael Newhard mentioned Monday night that he will be attending a New York State Assembly-sponsored roundtable discussion titled "Alternatives to School Property Taxes" on July 19 in Suffern. Coming on the heels of Warwick twice voting down the 2005-06 school budget, the forum is by invitation seeking suggestions on alternatives to financing education without negatively affecting school finances. The forum, sponsored by the Assembly Republican Commission on Alternatives to School Property Taxes, expects to take a look at such questions as: • Are property taxes the best way to fund education? • Are property taxes a fair measure of an individual's ability to pay? • What alternatives to the real property tax should be studied? • Are property taxes an impediment to home ownership? • Do property taxes result in individuals losing their homes? • Would an alternative tax, such as an income tax, prevent first-time home ownership? • Should local governments be given the option to freeze property taxes for retired senior citizens to ensure they can continue to live in their community? • What would the logistical effects be of changing the tax system? • How should commercial property within a county be taxed? • Do renters share a fair portion of the school tax burden? • If the current school property tax system is changed, how should second homes and commercial properties be assessed? The commission is traveling across New York State to collect ideas from residents. At the conclusion of the forums, the commission plans to report the findings to Assembly leaders to determine how legislators can help property owners while keeping schools properly funded. Newhard said he encourages residents' concerns and suggestions so he can bring them with him to the forum. Contact him at the Village Hall at 986-2031.