Also discussed was the possibility of the 2019 New Hartford budget including charges to residents residing in the Village of New York Mills/Town of New Hartford for costs related to the operation and maintenance of the New Hartford Town Police.
Since 2003, the Village of New York Mills has not been taxed by the Town of New Hartford for costs related to New Hartford police; the Village of New York Mills instead opted to maintain their own police force and thus have been exempted under the provisions of Town Law 150.
However, Town Law section 150 only exempts villages from the costs of town police if the village maintains a police force with at least four full-time officers on an annual basis and under the rules of civil service.
Town Law - TWN § 150
“The compensation of such policemen shall be a town charge; providing however, no assessment on property in any village within any town or partially within any town shall be made for the maintenance or operation of a town police department established after January first, nineteen hundred sixty, pursuant to this section if any such village maintains a police department of four or more policemen on an annual full-time basis, established and maintained under the rules of civil service.”In recent years, the New York Mills mayor has not maintained the required number of full-time officers to allow the exemption from town taxes for town police services to continue.
With the increasing demand for town police services in the Village of New York Mills section of town year after year, the town must now begin to charge village of New York Mills residents who live in the Town of New Hartford to cover police costs that since 2003 have only been paid by Village of New Hartford and Town Outside the Village taxpayers.
Although during last night’s town board discussion of the situation, there was no adopted resolution, there also appeared to not be any opposition from any member of the town board in reaction to the town supervisor’s proposal to start taxing NYM village residents for town police protection. The town board is working on the details at this point, but it is expected that the 2019 budget will contain police charges to village taxpayers.
The Mayor has for several years been well-aware of his obligation to provide a minimum of four (4) policemen on an annual full-time basis in order to qualify for the exemption under Town Law 150. For several years, the town board has been patient and allowed the Mayor plenty of time to once again comply with the provisions of Town Law. However, he has failed to comply and therefore, like any other exemption, if you don't qualify, the exemption cannot be granted.
With the increasing calls for the New Hartford Town Police to provide policing services to Village of New York Mills residents and the decision of Mayor Bialec to not maintain the number of full-time police required under Town Law 150 for exemption from taxation of town police operation and maintenance, the Town and Village of New Hartford taxpayers can no longer be expected, nor should they be expected, to shoulder the full cost of police services to include services provided to the residents of the Village of New York Mills who reside in the Town of New Hartford.
Below is the full video of the Town of New Hartford board meeting last evening: