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.