Senator James Skoufis’ (D-Hudson Valley) and Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson’s (D-Newburgh) bill to bring financial relief to the Newburgh and Chester School Districts was signed by the Governor. This bill vindicates the two school districts from severe penalties, resulting in $12.5 million in taxpayer savings for Newburgh and $1.3 million for Chester. With payments due to the State on June 28th, it was imperative that pressure be put on the Governor to quickly sign this bill.
Currently, these two school districts are being penalized due to inadvertent administrative oversight and small clerical errors from many years ago, which leads to exorbitant fees and fines placed on the school districts. This bill absolves the penalties, negating the millions of dollars in unnecessary fines and preventing the school districts and taxpayers from continuing to carry this burden.
Senator James Skoufis said, “These penalties, a result of paperwork errors made years ago, are outrageously disproportionate and would have had a devastating impact on these two school districts and their taxpayers. I’m so proud that my work over the past few years, and my work with Assemblyman Jacobson has resulted in tax penalty amnesty for these school districts. I thank the Governor for signing this into law before the next payment deadline. Now, these schools won’t have to worry about staff layoffs or program cuts, and that is an incredible accomplishment.”
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson said, “Making sure this bill passed was my number one local priority. I am proud to have saved the City of Newburgh more than $12.5 million and Chester $1.3 million. Instead of paying a costly penalty to the State, the school district can focus on its main priority: educating our kids. Senator Skoufis and I worked very hard to push this legislation through in a timely manner. We used our status as majority members in both houses to get this done and save the taxpayers money. My thanks to Senator Skoufis and to the Governor for signing this very important bill.”
Roberto Padilla, Superintendent of Newburgh Enlarged City School District said, “We are extremely thankful to the Governor, Senator Skoufis, Assemblyman Jacobson, NYSCOSS, and NYSSBA. The Newburgh School District continues to make progress and this amnesty will allow us to provide our scholars with innovative programs.”
Sean Michel, Superintendent of Chester Union Free School District said, “I send a huge thank you to Senator Skoufis. For years, he has championed this for us and without his tenacity, it wouldn’t have gotten to this point. This penalty would be devastating for our small school district. The fact that this bill has given us this tax penalty waiver is unbelievable and we are so thankful for the support for our school district, taxpayers, and most importantly, our students.”