Tax District Proposed Law “Cliff Notes”
This document was prepared as a brief overview of the proposed Tax District Law. It is not meant as a substitute for the actual law. If the interpretation in this document differs from the wording in the law, then the law takes precedence.
Sequence of Events to form the District
- Pass the law.
- Submit a petition signed by owners of at least half the assessed value in the district to the Town Supervisor.
- The Town Supervisor sets a date for a hearing (subject to specific requirements regarding prior notice etc.).
- Prior to the hearing the Town Supervisor verifies the validity of the petition.
- The Town Supervisor conducts the hearing.
- A referendum is conducted to vote yea or nay on the district. At the same time, the first set of Commissioners and the Treasurer are elected.
- If the referendum passes and the District is created, a person could file an action to stop it.
People who can vote in the referendum and/or annual elections:
- People who live in the district (whether they need to registered voters seems to be optional), who are 18 or older and US citizens
- People who lease property in the district from NY State or the Town
- People who own property in the district
- Corporations that own property in the district-one vote per corp.It seems to me that: Renters would be able to vote under bullet 1. Entire families can vote under bullet 1 as well.
- The Treasurer and the Secretary can be paid, but not the Commissioners.
- The Secretary is appointed (and may live outside the district), but the Treasurer is elected.
- If a vacancy occurs, a person may be appointed to fill it. For elective officers, a replacement needs to be elected at the next annual election to fill out the remainder of the term.
- 5 elected officers total.
Annual Election Procedures
- Date of election set in the by-laws, unless we don’t have by-laws. In which case the commissioners decide the date.
- Notice of the election must be published in two newspapers. The notice has to appear once a week for three weeks beginning 25-40 days before the election date.
- Candidates must file nominations with the Secretary at least 15 days prior to the election. Nominees must submit petitions with at least 25 signatures.
- 3 election officials will be appointed by the Commissioners.
- The polling place shall be “within the district” and open from noon to 8pm
- The election officials submit the tabulated results to the Commissioners and to the Town.
- There is a process for Propositions, the first of which will actually be the creation of the Improvement District.
- The Commissioners can call a special election to consider a Proposition
- An organizational meeting will be held not later than 30 days after the election. A chairperson for the year is selected at that meeting.
- 3 commissioners is a quorum. At least 3 commissioners have to vote in favor to authorize any action.
Annual Budget Procedures
- Board of Commissioners prepares a preliminary budget each year at least 30 days before the annual election
- A copy of the budget is filed with the Town Clerk where it may be inspected by the members of the District
- The Board holds a hearing on the budget at least 10 days before the election
- Notice of the hearing must be provided in two newspapers at least 10 days before the hearing
- After the hearing the Board may amend the budget
- The Board adopts the Budget by resolution, no later than the date of the Annual Election
- The Board submits the budget to the Town Supervisor so that it may be submitted with the Town’s budget to the County so that the taxes can be collected (timing is a little confusing)
- The Board of Commissioners decides which bank(s) to deposit District Funds into
- The Treasurer can issue checks for many expenses (most of the ones we will incur) without prior approval from the CommissionersSecretary is responsible for keeping all of the District records.