Piccolo voices concern with Cuomo tax plan

SILVER CREEK – Although Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo attended Governor Andrew Cuomo’s presentation of his tax plan in Buffalo, he said he does not agree with everything the governor is proposing.

At the Silver Creek Village Board meeting Monday, Piccolo said he received a letter from Cuomo’s office, thanking him for attending the speech in early March. Piccolo said the village also received a letter from the New York Conference of Mayors, warning municipalities of the consequences of the governor’s plan.

“Some boards have a problem with this because, like us, they have inherited compliance issues and bills from that that you have to pay,” he said.

Trustee Thomas Harmon said the state mandates are trying to force consolidation and shared services. Piccolo agreed that the state wants to reduce government and therefore reduce taxes; however, he said this does not always work out for villages that consolidate with towns.

“Consolidation has a lot of pros and cons. But, for example, if the village of Silver Creek consolidated with the town of Hanover, residents would see on their tax bill next to the county and town taxes ‘village debt.’ The town does not have to repay the debt, so it is still a tax increase for village residents,” he said.

Piccolo said he thinks Cuomo’s plan sounds good on paper, but ends up benefiting the wrong people.

“In theory it is a great plan, but who really benefits from this are big corporations and the people with big pockets. There is nothing in there for the middle class,” he said.

County Legislator George Borrello, who represents Silver Creek, has come out in favor of the proposal.

“I am pleased this proposal is effectively structured in such a way that it incentivizes all municipal players to work together to keep our property tax under control,” Borrello said in a quote from the proposal’s website, cutpropertytaxes.com.

Upon hearing Borrello supports the plan, Piccolo said the county is in a different position than the village after selling the County Home.

Piccolo previously said he expects the village will need to raise taxes over the 2 percent tax cap limit because of consent order projects at the waste water treatment plant, debt from the purchase of the department of public works building coming due before reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrive and other projects the village has undertaken.

Piccolo said the village will meet today with its budget officer to get a better idea of the 2014-2015 budget.

The village board will meet again on April 7.