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Black River District to pay back taxes in Fulton Co.

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Black River District to pay back taxes in Fulton Co.
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Board members of the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District have made a controversial decision. They have voted in favor of paying more than $3 million in back taxes to Fulton County. The reason behind the payment is a shortfall on the Hudson River side.

The money was to be used for schools and to leverage property taxes in Fulton County, but for the past two years, it has gone unpaid. Back in June, a Supreme Court judge ordered the regulating district to pay the back taxes using funds from the Black River side of the district. A number of people in the North Country have spoken out against moving the cash in to help the Hudson River area.

"I still think that by using some of that money from the financially healthy side, the Black River side, to the Hudson side, is not going to fulfill the total debt and therefore we're still going to have some problems and the whole organization, I think, is going to be hurting," said Ken Blankenbush, (R) Assembly - Black River.

"As soon as things are settled over on the Hudson River side, then the board will get back and we will authorize the monies back in where they belong," said David Berkstresser, Hudson River-Black River Regulating District.

The money is coming from the reserve fund, which opponents say could put the district in a financial bind in the future.

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