BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht announced Friday, August 10 that a controversial proposed law for a 5-year tax exemption for first-time buyers of newly constructed homes will not go forward on Aug 27.
After public outcry including an online petition against the law, Supervisor Specht told the Journal News on Friday, “There was a concern it would not benefit existing residents.”
Specht said people expressed concern that the proposal would only benefit new homeowners and did not help the existing taxpayers. Specht continued, “We’re taking into account … the valid criticisms people have expressed about this proposal.”
This law is usually proposed for areas that need ways to attract new residents to towns and municipalities. Ramapo is the second largest population growth in the past several years according to lohud.NYDatabases.com.
Instead of considering the now defunct tax proposal, the August 27th meeting will be more of a “town hall meeting” for taxpayers and Ramapo government to roundtable ways to reduce the burden on existing taxpayers.
Bill Weber, a longtime Ramapo resident, and opponent against Specht for Supervisor last year, said, “I am glad to see that the Ramapo Supervisor and town board cancelled this ill-timed and ill-advised tax exemption from being considered at a public hearing later this month. This proposed law was nothing more than a gift to the same developers who have been funding the campaigns for the current and previous administrations for years; the same administrations who got us in the mess that we are currently in.”
Weber said of the town hall proposal, “The taxpayers of Ramapo who live here now need real tax reform. That can only be accomplished by retaining and adding tax ratable properties, coupled with a major “sharpening of the pencil” in town expenditures.”
All residents are invited to attend the Aug 27th meeting to discuss ways to reduce tax burdens and expenditures in the Town of Ramapo Town Hall at 7 p.m.