State Senator James L. Seward has filed legislation that would provide Otsego County with explicit authorization to issue refunds to taxpayers for the difference between the county's adopted tax levy in its 2007 budget and the adjusted levy resulting from this year's budget amendments. Senate bill 1656 was filed Tuesday, January 24.
"The county board has asked for special state legislation that would grant them very specific authority to issue refunds," Senator Seward said. "It's apparent, based on a review of the situation by the senate's lawyers and counsels for the state Office of Real Property Services, that special state legislation is necessary. I have prepared and filed the bill in the senate."
Seward said he would attempt to move the bill through the senate as quickly as possible. It must be reviewed by the appropriate senate committee(s) and scheduled for a floor vote.
"I will work with the county board and my colleagues to get results for the taxpayers who paid too much in taxes due to errors and miscommunication and who deserve a refund," Seward said.
Also this week the state senate passed a massive property tax relief plan that expands the senate-initiated property tax relief rebate program to provide $2.6 billion in property tax relief this year and $3.4 billion in 2008. Seward said the plan would triple the size of direct property tax rebate checks in the first year, give voters greater input on local property tax rates, and establish a blue ribbon commission to make reforms to help reduce property taxes.