Phillips: Towns could sue over charge backs

Reaction to suggested passage of over $1 million dollars in college charge back costs from the county to the towns has riled up town supervisors. In the long-run, it might even produce a lawsuit.

According to Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard Phillips, County Executive Ed Day’s interpretation of a recent Court of Appeals decision that allowed charge backs to towns by the county is not legally binding. Phillips said such an act requires the approval of the County Legislature and is illegal if pursued unilaterally.

“The county executive on his own cannot circumvent the authority of other branches of government. It’s that simple,” Phillips told a local news outlet. “If he goes ahead with deducting chargebacks from our sales tax, which we don’t believe he can, either, the towns are going to get together and sue the county executive.”

Given broad opposition to town-directed charge backs in the Legislature, the likelihood of such an approval is slim. A chargeback plan backed by Day was introduced during 2015 budget deliberations by Legislator Chris Carey, but failed to gather support from most of the body and ultimately failed.