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Corning Library Tax Follow Up

Written By: Nick Quattrini
Library Tax Follow Up

     We have a follow up on the Steuben Library Referendum meeting last night. Three Chemung County legislators are against the proposed tax levy hike for the library in Corning. Roughly one thousand voters who live in parts of Chemung County would have to pay taxes for library services in a completely different county.
     Legislators Donna Draxler, John Pastrick and David Manchester represent voters who live in parts of Chemung County that lie in the Corning-Painted Post School District. They say some of these affected residents in Caitlin, the Town of Big Flats and Southport already pay taxes for the Chemung County Library system.
     Under the Southeast Steuben County plan, those residents would be taxed twice, under a state law that mandates taxes be collected as a school district.
     Proponents for the Library District tax say that state law prevents an exemption to the roughly 460 taxable properties located in overlapping districts, and that it is not uncommon for overlapping to happen with different services.
     John Pastrick, a Chemung County Legislator said, " We're in a Corning School District, but we live in Chemung county, so we are paying for the library, now we are going to be asked to pay for another library, and I'm sure the average citizen does not realize that their taxes will go up some, if this issue passes on December 17th."
     Pauline Emery, the Director of the Southeast Steuben County Library said, "there is a lot of overlap, among other services, not just libraries, like water districts. I am not certain of other overlaps in Chemung County, but it is something unfortunately we have no way of changing that presently."
     According to a press release from the Chemung County Legislature, If the library plan is approved, the taxpayers in Caitlin would take on a projected $25,000 increase, with Big Flats and Southport taking on a roughly $8,000 combined total.