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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.

Brian Goudie June 07, 2012 at 10:51 AM
So cut services and jobs, guys. It's the only way. Stop whining, start acting like grownups and just do it. We can all fend for ourselves. Really, we can. Sometimes I think you are afraid to find out just how self-sufficient we are.
Tammy Kay Kuiper June 07, 2012 at 01:13 PM
FIrst: I don't understand why the students aren't paying the difference themselves, or at least a part of it. Second: I didn't know the hasidics didn't pay the same tax as the rest of us. If this is true, what possible justification is there for that?? If they don't want to be treated and thought of negatively then they need to stop asking for (and apparently receiving) special treatment. I can respect religious and cultural differences but if you want to live in a country you must show respect for that country's laws, culture and national holidays. When you do things that separate you from everyone else and show disrespect (like not observing Thanksgiving or other holidays to honor the sacrifices that made life as it is here possible) how do you expect there not to be negative feelings towards you?
Tony T June 07, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Tammy Kay Kuiper you are 1000% CORRECT on both counts.
MA June 08, 2012 at 03:36 AM
All religious people are tax exempt, therefore any males that are Rabbis don't pay taxes. My understanding is that specific areas such as New Square don't pay taxes because they live in a commune, salaries are given to the Grand Rebbe for the community. This may be incorrect, if so then how is their use of food stamps, Medicaid, as well as other public assistance (although many are employed) explained? Many would be surprised to know that they top our Welfare rolls because of their exemptions. And yet, they have seemingly unlimited funds to purchase property in cash (as reported in the Journal-News, specifically the property on Broadway in Upper Nyack). We digress however as that is not the point of this article or thread.
SM June 09, 2012 at 01:02 PM
we should invoke a tax on all Yeshivas, churches, synagogues and any other religious place of worship and then the Hasdic's can't say that we are singling them out. Even if its a small tax there are many more yeshivas in new square than any other place of worship in one area. i think this would close the gap pretty quickly and start them on the way to pulling their own weight.
Angella Monroe June 09, 2012 at 01:13 PM
AM i think these jewish people are abusing the system, they are only looking out for themselves, i was heart broken when they voted against kindergarden for the east ramapo school district, i think kindergarden should be manditory, they dont care about any one else the school district should charge them for the school buses, because they find everyloop hole to avoid paying taxes and everyday they have buildings going up in spring valley and all over.
Watchdog June 09, 2012 at 01:29 PM
If you live in Ramapo, YOU ARE DOOMED. THERE IS NO HOPE. The Town is overrun by dishonest politicians supported by the unfriendly, uncaring, cult like group of segragationist BLOC voters who put them in office to leech out their existence off of Government at every level. If you think it will GRT better for you, you are sorely mistaken. Sell your house now while you can still get something for it.
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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