Posted: June 19, 2019 in Community, Education, In the News
Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) speaking to students at Austin Road Elementary School in Mahopac. 

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) is pleased to announce the recent passage of his legislation (A.7129A) to grant the Mahopac Central School District forgiveness for ministerial errors for eight capital improvement projects that received state funding. Due to a prior administration’s failure to file necessary reporting paperwork with the state during the 2011-12 school year, the Mahopac Central School District was facing the prospect of losing upwards to $5.8 million in aid. If not remedied through state legislation, the school district would have to pay back $3.1 million it had already received for the projects, and lose out on $2.7 million in future payments. This bill forgives that ministerial error and saves the Mahopac Central School District taxpayers from millions of dollars in added financial burden.

            “I’m delighted to announce our bill to assist the taxpayers of the Mahopac Central School District passed in the Assembly with strong bipartisan support. The forgiveness this legislation would provide, prevents taxpayers from having to absorb a significant amount of added cost from state aid that the school district would have lost due to ministerial errors nearly eight years ago. New Yorkers in the Hudson Valley already pay some of the highest property taxes in the country, making it absolutely critical that we passed this legislation to prevent forcing any new unnecessary financial burdens upon them.” said Byrne. “Losing over $5.8 million dollars in state aid due to an error from a prior administration seems unfair and punitive, especially when the state has already paid the school district over half the money promised.”

Byrne worked closely to pass this legislation in the Assembly with the school district’s assistant superintendent for business, Harvey Sotland. 

            “A school district’s efforts to educate and provide students with the best resources should never be jeopardized with penalty of this magnitude for failing to file a relatively simple form,” said Sotland.

The legislation previously passed the Senate earlier this year with the support of Senator Pete Harckham, and will be sent to Governor Cuomo for his consideration.