Newburgh Residents Rally on Fiscal Problems

by San Antonio Attorney

With a recent enormous property tax raises as well as unexpected bad news, locals of Newburgh, New York, marched on the streets carrying “SOS” signs, to urge state officials to take charge of the city’s finances on Wednesday.

However the state, which has closed a spending gap of $10 billion with vicious cutbacks to healthcare and education budget for this year, is not expected to save the city that has a 28,000 population.

Newburgh Mayor Nicholas Valentine said that he would want to take over but the state simply does not have the funds.
The protests are centered on the escalating property taxes, a burden which a large number of cities across the US is confronting as residents try to make their way out of the problem of high debt, weak tax revenues, and hiking of labor costs.

Brenda McPhail, a Community Voices Heard leader who has been unemployed since 2008 said that they want to the state and the City Hall to know about their frustration.

She added that businesses are leaving the city due to high taxes and looking around there are many abandoned buildings.
In Newburgh, those tax increases have been very harsh in all aspects. Just last year, the city’s budget consisted of a property tax increase by 41 percent. Since it adhered to property values reassessment, a lot of its residents have seen taxes escalate 70 percent.
The city used to be an economic hub but since 2004 it has been one of the most distressed towns in the state. Based on the census, about 25 percent of its population is living below the poverty line.

Economically distressed municipalities all over the country have been helped by fiscal managers appointed by the state in order to recover from the crisis.

Nassau County and Rhode Island city have been monitored by the state and adequately run by a receiver who was appointed by the state.

But a Newburgh takeover has been turned down by New York in the past.
Alternatively, the state passed the City of Newburgh Fiscal Recovery Act a year ago. A Special Debt Service Fund was established in order to improve the fiscal integrity of the City.

San Antonio Attorney – News

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