Certified Houghton University students again providing free income tax preparation

Houghton University students have returned to providing income tax preparation and e-filing assistance for qualifying Allegany County residents, with other free filing aids also being available through other county resources. Elianna McHenry, assistant accounting professor, said that 5:30PM and 7:30PM Monday evening appointments are being scheduled through April 8 with students who have been certified … Read more

Allegany County adopts tentative budget without changes, but with $1.3 million in changes

Allegany County lawmakers have adopted a $145.5 million tentative budget with no changes, although it increased expenditures by more than $1.5 million before it was adopted and then repeated the actions once again afterward. A resolution declaring that “the 2024 County Tentative Budget dated November 1, 2023, is adopted asthe 2024 County Final Budget” was … Read more

Allegany County over/underbudgeting helps maintain second highest property tax rate in state

NEWS ANALYSIS: Allegany County lawmakers appear to be racking up increasing surpluses, which aren’t being returned proportionally to taxpayers, helping to maintain its distinction as the second highest property and third highest general sales taxed county in the state. Allegany Hope Community News found the increasing pattern following an analysis of four years of budget … Read more

Allegany County blocks request for financial information

Allegany County alleges it has no records which show its financial condition beyond those it creates once a year. The highly dubious claim comes in response to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request by Allegany Hope Community News to confirm that the county has been carrying unreasonable surpluses for at least five years, rather … Read more

Push underway by Allegany County to spend nearly $4.5 million, with more possible

Allegany County lawmakers will meet tomorrow morning to begin a push to allocate more than $4.4 million in various types of funds, including more than one-third of its federal pandemic revenues. An agenda for a Board of Legislators meeting was disseminated shortly before 5PM today, with $4,420,760 of proposed expenditures to be moved to the … Read more

Allegany County sales tax revenues continue surge as surpluses diverted from property tax relief

Allegany County sales tax revenues continue to pile up, with a weekend report showing income from that source already exceeding last year’s total through the the end of October, with at least six million dollars more likely before the end of the year. In the meantime, next year’s budget is proposing to divert $16 million … Read more

Current Allegany County budget may be hiked by an additional $16 million

Allegany County legislators appear poised to overspend this year’s general fund budget by $16 million due to a windfall surplus from 2022 rather than using it for property tax relief. Board Chairman W. Brooke Harris of Alfred told the few people attending last night’s District V legislators meeting at the Town of Allen that the … Read more

At least one county legislator resistant to significant property tax reductions

A Belmont county legislator apparently won’t be supporting any move to provide significant tax relief to property taxpayers, despite a bloated surplus which exceeds one-and-a-half times what the county already expects to collect from owners each year. Legislator Dwight (Mike) Healy abruptly exited his chair and effectively adjourned a public meeting of District II legislators … Read more

Garbage pickup struggle in Friendship as local governments face manpower shortages

The Town of Friendship is seeking ways to overcome an immediate manpower shortage for garbage pickup while it and other local governments struggle with similar shortages in various workforce positions. Town Supervisor Russ Hall told a gathering of local officials last week, during an Allegany County District II Legislators meeting with residents, that three of … Read more

Allegany property tax rate among highest in U.S. as county legislators sit on tens of millions

EXCLUSIVE: Allegany County’s property tax rate is the second or third highest in the United States by one measure as county legislators continue to put away millions – over 160 percent more last year than was levied against taxpayers. An Allegany County Hope Community News compilation from different data sources appears clear that Allegany County … Read more

Allegany County surplus soars while it declares ‘necessity’ to keep its high sales tax rate

EXCLUSIVE: Allegany County’s state legislative representatives are being asked again to work at retaining the county’s third highest sales tax rate in the state at the same time as the government’s surplus escalated by more than $16 million, or nearly 50 percent, last year. The new unappropriated fund balance of nearly $48.8 million is enough … Read more

Property owners urged to check assessments before next week’s Grievance Day

The State Department of Taxation and Finance is encouraging property owners to check their assessments before the start of Grievance Day next week for accuracy and equality. Most Grievance Days by town and city Assessment Boards of Review in the state will occur at locally set hours on the fourth Tuesday in May, the 23rd, … Read more

Allegany County legislators start move to keep an additional $9 million-plus in sales tax receipts

Allegany County lawmakers are starting their triennial push to keep an additional 1.5 percent above the basic, state-authorized sales tax rate, which is generating more than $9 million a year from taxpayers, an amount which is continuing to climb by double-digit percentages annually. The county legislature’s Ways and Means Committee will be requesting the full … Read more

Allegany County lawmakers bemoan state $1.2 million-plus proposed budget hit

Allegany County legislators are going on the offensive against a proposal by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul which, they say, will cost county taxpayers between $1.2 and $1.4 million annually. The Board of Legislators adopted a resolution yesterday, urging state legislators to reject the governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year, starting April 1, … Read more

Local government-focused community group coming together in Friendship

An ad hoc community group is meeting for the first time tomorrow night in Friendship to discuss local government-related taxation and other issues. The session will be held at 6:30PM Wednesday at the Friendship Bible Baptist Church, 43 West Main Street. The announcement from the group says the session is to “gather as a community … Read more

Arkport Central School District under moderate fiscal stress

BREAKING: The Arkport Central School District, which has geographic boundaries extending into Allegany County, is under moderate fiscal stress, more than doubling its evaluation score during the last school year. New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is reporting that his office’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System has identified Arkport as having a rating of 45, … Read more

Wellsville and Andover pushing county sharing of sales tax revenues

Wellsville and Andover officials are pushing a proposal for Allegany County, NY, to share its rapidly increasing sales tax revenue, which has the potential for exceeding its total property tax levy this year, with local governments. District IV county legislators, representing the two towns comprising nearly one-fifth of the county’s population, indicated agreement this week … Read more

Allegany County to continue keeping excess property taxes for itself

UPDATE: Allegany County, NY, taxpayers appear to have lost the opportunity for a sizable tax cut today after county lawmakers spent some 15 minutes discussing, and then passing over, use of a small portion of its large fund balance to lower property taxes for all towns in the county next year and otherwise ignored use … Read more

Allegany County legislators ignore providing substantive drops in next year’s tax rates

BREAKING: Allegany County, NY, legislators adjourned shortly before noon today, without taking any substantive action to further reduce the county tax rate for next year’s operating budget. Lawmakers spent some 15 minutes discussing whether they should use surplus funds to create a property tax savings for all towns in the county, 10 of which will … Read more