Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) has introduced a bill to update village incorporation law in New York State. Village incorporation law has been virtually unchanged in 56 years and undoubtedly requires significant modernization. Furthermore, village incorporation proposals such as Seven Springs in the Town of Monroe have been weaponized as political tools for major developers; in response to these circumstances, Senator Skoufis introduced bill S7375.
This bill does three key things:
- Raises the threshold of signature requirements to file a petition from 500 to 2,500.
- Strikes a provision enabling the owners of at least 50 percent of the property value to petition for the new village. Under this law, at least 20% of the residents qualified to vote in the town must sign the petition for it to move forward.
- Gives the State Comptroller’s office the authority to make either a favorable or unfavorable determination on the fiscal impacts of the village. If the Comptroller deems the village to be fiscally unfavorable, the village petition will not move forward. If the Comptroller deems the village fiscally favorable, the village petition will move to a full vote for everyone in the affected town.
Senator Skoufis said, “I'll never stop trying to find new solutions to our district's most pressing issues. By raising the petition signature requirement and giving the State Comptroller’s office the ability to examine the fiscal impacts of a village incorporation, we are ensuring more fairness and independence in a process that has long-needed reformation. Voters deserve to make an informed decision that best reflects the future of their community, and I'm determined to help give them that voice.”
The bill is currently in the Local Government Committee and is being sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblymember Fred Theile, Chair of the Local Government Committee.