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School districts prepare legal action to recover unpaid taxes amid budget cuts

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BROADALBIN, N.Y. - The Broadalbin-Perth, Mayfield, and Northville Central School Districts are preparing to take legal action against Fulton County in an effort to recover over $940,000 worth of unpaid 2011-12 school taxes owed by the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District.

Under state law, counties are required to make school districts whole for any unpaid property taxes. While Fulton County has made each district whole for all other unpaid taxes, it has not done so for the taxes owed by HRBRRD.

For the unpaid taxes, the school districts say Fulton County owes $230,170 to Broadalbin-Perth, $372,036 to Mayfield, and $337,981 to Northville, totaling $940,187. HRBRRD is the single largest taxpayer in both the Broadalbin-Perth and Mayfield school districts, and it is the second-largest taxpayer in Northville.

Broadalbin-Perth and Northville are both located partly in other counties, which they say have already reimbursed the districts for their share of the unpaid HRBRRD taxes: Saratoga County has paid Broadalbin-Perth $59,232 and Hamilton County has paid Northville $24,199.

Attorneys for the school districts plan to file the proceeding against the county to recover the unpaid funds on May 9th.

These unpaid funds come after the districts are facing major budget cuts; the Broadalbin-Perth School District is facing a $2.4 million budget gap. More than 30 teachers' jobs, full day kindergarten, sports, even college advanced courses, are on the table to possibly be cut at Broadalbin-Perth.

Even the students at Broadalbin-Perth are speaking up about budget cuts. Middle school students created a mock-newscast video explaining how they would suffer from the cuts. Watch the video here.

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