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Mayor Randy Casale's 2013 Beacon City Budget asks for a 7.37% tax hike. Add that to the hidden tax increase of pushing trash collection fees to the individual as opposed to being bundled in to city taxes.

Numerous pre-election fliers sent to my home pointed out how Mayor Steve Gold had increased our city taxes (an increase Randy voted for, of course) and this somehow implied that Mr. Gold's economic policies diverged from Randy Casale's. All those who voted for Randy Casale under the false impression that his tax policies would result in no tax hikes should take notice that it only took him 10 months to propose them.

However, the idea of unbundling trash removal from our taxes does not appear to benefit any Beacon resident and makes no sense to me at all. Why is this being suggested? It clearly benefits Royal Carting as they will be able to enact future rate hikes with almost no pushback from the previously unified group of citizens. Royal Carting will have to pay for administrative fees to collect these payments and manage selectively collecting trash only from customers who are current on their bills. No one can be expected to believe Beacon citizens won't shoulder those additional expenses.

For the record I am aware of the difficulties of managing Beacon's budget, particularly in this very hostile economic environment. In my opinion it is better for Beacon to responsibly navigate these difficult times, using tax increases if necessary, rather than doggedly follow a "no new taxes" policy that might cost us far more in the long run.

Considering that one of the major arguments against reelecting Steve Gold was "taxes", I find this turn of events both unsurprising and disappointing. I couldn't say whether Randy is doing a better or worse job than Steve did, but I do know that Randy ran on a platform that contradicts his actions.

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Replies to This Discussion

Gary,

The Local Union reps negotiate the contrscts directly with the City, however the state sets policy of what is and has been agreed upon. So if something is already in he contract and lets say they have been getting a 2% increase each year for the last ten years, then most likely they are going to want those same increases year by year. If we dont want to agree to those terms and they arent willing to budge, it goes to srbitartion, where the state chooses an arbitrator and they set the deal, which is typically not in the citys favor.

The other retirement fees for all the other depts are bundled together on page 29 under #810000.

I will review your other questions that you have asked earlier about the police and fire retierment funds doubling, but as far as #450437 .. my report shows a figure of $166,000. I have the 10/15/12 issue of the budget. Which one are you reviewing?

Thanks again for your input and concerns.

Justin



Gary Wood said:



Justin Riccobono said:

Gary,

Yes,  The Landscape in NYS and most of the NE is starting to feel the Retirement $$$$ eating into their budgets.  The County recently ran a report that shows theirs also doubling.  As years progress, each contract is different ,  so it depends on when you started with the union as to which tier you fall under.  As NYS renegotiates the contracts each year,  most of the benefits drop somewhat, but the question is will it be enough to keep taxes at bay?   


So the state negotiates the contracts with our City Police and Fire Depts.??

 

Also where in the budget are line items for other Dept. retirement fees(i.e. Public works ) etc.??

 

Again thanks for your answers


Anyone know where the proposed budget is on the city website ? Haven't hunted it down yet.

update - as is typical, as soon as I posted that comment, I found the budget details :

http://cityofbeacon.org/files/2013%20BUDGET%20REQUEST.pdf

Proposed Budget is on City Administrator page under documents and forms.



Justin Riccobono said:

Gary,


The other retirement fees for all the other depts are bundled together on page 29 under #810000.

I will review your other questions that you have asked earlier about the police and fire retierment funds doubling, but as far as #450437 .. my report shows a figure of $166,000. I have the 10/15/12 issue of the budget. Which one are you reviewing?

Thanks again for your input and concerns.

Justin



Justin,


Line item #450437 shows $259,638 expended in 2011,$100,000 budgeted for 2012(final figures not in since fiscal year still in progress and $166,000 projected for 2013 budget. This is for a total just south of a half a million dollars in Attorney fees for 3years,for litigation, in excess of budgeted Attorney fees.

 

Found #810000 thanks



Justin Riccobono said:

Gary,

The Local Union reps negotiate the contrscts directly with the City, however the state sets policy of what is and has been agreed upon. So if something is already in he contract and lets say they have been getting a 2% increase each year for the last ten years, then most likely they are going to want those same increases year by year. If we dont want to agree to those terms and they arent willing to budge, it goes to srbitartion, where the state chooses an arbitrator and they set the deal, which is typically not in the citys favor.

The other retirement fees for all the other depts are bundled together on page 29 under #810000.

I will review your other questions that you have asked earlier about the police and fire retierment funds doubling, but as far as #450437 .. my report shows a figure of $166,000. I have the 10/15/12 issue of the budget. Which one are you reviewing?

Thanks again for your input and concerns.

Justin



Justin,
Wondering if you were able to find what line item #450437 was???

Thanks for clarifying the issue with 501 non-profits falling under the umbrella protection of the state. If the city doesn't have any direct way to control an expanding demand for tax-free trash pickup, and there is a consensus opinion that it would be worthwhile to begin taxing non-profits for trash pickup, I just want to make sure we are not erasing the benefit of new income thanks to the cost of collection. Sometimes an attractive idea today becomes the giant problem of the future.

While it is fair to explore the tax impact of the non-profits in Beacon, I also think it's a disingenuous comment to suggest that if they represent 30% of our tax base today, that somehow in a matter of years it will represent 50% of our tax base. I'd like to see some facts to back that up.

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