Orangetown Blasts Rockland's 'College Charge-Back' Measures

Orangetown supervisor says county fee lays heavy financial burden on the town

As Rockland County lawmakers struggle to close a , new fees and surcharges are being passed onto towns.

A allows the county to "charge-back" towns for college tuition, which will net the Rockland government about $1.8 million in 2012.

In the past, county government reimbursed community colleges in other areas for non-resident tuition differences when Rockland residents studied at Westchester Community College, or other, similar institutions.

Now, those fees will fall to Orangetown, Clarkstown, Ramapo, Stony Point and Haverstraw. And town leaders are not pleased.

"[Rockland County] can't balance their budget, so they're turning to the towns," said councilman Thomas Diviny at this week's Orangetown board meeting.

The fee will hit Orangetown for about $230,000, and likely be taken from the town's share of the county sales tax, supervisor Andy Stewart said.

(Read Andy Stewart's blog on the matter .)

"I'm having a real problem with this charge-back," added councilman Thomas Morr.

Stewart assailed the fees, too, and noted other lawmakers are working to lessen the fiscal damage.

"There are advocacy efforts taking place," he said, noting assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) and senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland) are "digging into" the issue to seek solutions.

Stewart added that the details of the new fee structure are murky.

"I'm trying to figure out what the facts of the situation are, and then how we can best take action to protect ourselves," he said.

JD June 09, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Well, it is the point, actually. Not for profit income and properties are too large a percentage of the tax base. The Vatican has one of the largest art collections in the world and does not pay taxes in America. We will get no-where focusing on the community's Judaism. The community is simply taking advantage of federal laws that were originally sponsored by christian conservatives in the midwest in the interest of mega-churches. They apparently have the same issues about being "exposed" to the general population and disdain for giving tax dollars to heathens. It's so hard to address because it is a federal law and the rest of the country doesn't give a hoot about Rockland County and the community. Now it's come down to kindergarten? SHAME! There must be a way to make it harder to become tax exempt. Could a municipality regulate (limit) what percentage of it's ratables can be tax exempt? Towns and Villages are incorporated. Corporations have a responsibility to be solvent. And, not for nothing, right now we have laws written to define "religion" in order to grant special legal status to individuals and groups. That definition is the crux of the argument. Perhaps it shouldn't defined. Not for profits should provide service like Rockland Family Shelter or Cooperative Extension and should not go to things that are exclusive. And don't forget to pay sales tax on that lunch that wasn't really business.
Tony T June 09, 2012 at 04:22 PM
JD they are not using it they are abusing it......please name one Hasidic outreach to the Rockland community in general.....I have never seen one Hasidic hospital, although I have seem many Catholic and Protestant etc hospitals and medical centers. As I matter of fact I worked in Good Samaritan when a committee of Rabbi's approach the hospital about taking down the crucifix from the walls and halls of the hospitals…..I would have referred them to a Hasidic hospital but there are none…..Catholic Relief, Protestant Aid Society, the Salvation Army, Arab Orthodox Societies, etc, etc, I could name a hundred can you name one Hasdic relief organization for the general good of the community? See that is why groups are tax exempt not to line their own pockets!!
Rob McGunn June 12, 2012 at 07:04 PM
You were out smoking that day in the 11th grade when they discussed the Constitution weren't you? Not that I disagree but you need to have a little thing called an ammendment.
eight4five June 13, 2012 at 02:58 AM
also, don't forget that Hasadic marriages are not recognized in this country. All Hasadic women are considered single mothers and the males usually claim as students which is also why they get so much special aid from the county Social Services Dept.
SM July 22, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Really!!! I am aware of this but disagree. That is my point Not sure if you got it, so i just wanted to clarify.


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