River district faces tax deadline
MAYFIELD The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District has until the end of September to pay Fulton County $1.7 million in back taxes, officials said.
The district was supposed to pay the county within 10 days of an Aug. 2 decision by state Supreme Court Judge Richard Aulisi.
The payment date was extended based on stipulations among attorneys, said Fulton County Attorney Arthur Spring. Spring said other motions or activities on the case also were extended until Sept. 28.
Regardless of the deadline, the regulating district may not have the money to pay the county, said Executive Director Michael Clark. He said the district could pay if it receives payments on time from five downstream counties — Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren and Washington — for providing them with flood-control protection.
The regulatory district billed them for the first time this year after winning an appeal of its right to do so. Several of the downstream counties still contest the decision and have asked the state Court of Appeals to hear an appeal of the Appellate Division’s decision, but Clark said the chances are slim of that happening. He said none of the counties have paid their bills yet.
Fulton County filed the Article 78 proceeding earlier this year, seeking to collect $720,000 it paid to the towns and villages for 2012 taxes; $230,000 it paid to the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District; $372,000 paid to the Mayfield Central School District; and $338,000 paid to the Northville Central School District for 2011-2012 taxes.
The county had initially made whole only the towns and villages for the taxes, and not the school districts. It made the school districts whole in July after being ordered to do so by Aulisi. The school districts had forced the issue by filing an Article 78 proceeding of their own this year against the county.
The school districts took that same legal action last year when the regulatory district failed to pay taxes and the county refused to make the school districts whole. The difference last year was the county joined with the school districts, paying for court costs, and the regulatory district paid its overdue taxes after liquidating some assets.