By JOSHUA THOMAS
For the Recorder
CANAJOHARIE -- After an unsuccessful attempt to secure property tax assessment relief from the towns of Palatine and Ephratah, the village board unanimously adopted resolutions during a special meeting Thursday allowing law firm Allen & Desnoyers to move forward with court proceedings against the two entities.
The village pays $300,000 annually in school and property taxes on the wastewater treatment plant located in the village, along with watershed land in the towns of Johnstown, Ephratah and Palatine.
"This was all well and good when we had Beech-Nut here to help offset some of that expense," Mayor Francis Avery said. "They're no longer here -- we still have to pay $300,000."
The board asked the three towns to reduce the watershed assessments. While the town of Johnstown agreed to reduce the assessment by $28,000, of the $35,000 reduction requested by the village board, the towns of Ephratah and Palatine have refused, Avery said.
Therefore, Allen & Desnoyers drafted two resolutions that, with board approval, will allow pursuit of judicial proceedings now, and in subsequent years, seeking property tax assessment reductions under titles 5 and 7 of Real Property Tax Law and New York State Law.
"These have to be done very quickly," Avery said.