Created: 04/16/2014 11:35 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts
How would you like to get a $100 check from your town?
As many as 10,000 Henrietta residents might see that check in the mail.
The State Comptroller says the town of Henrietta charged its residents more taxes than it needed to run the town. The surplus amounts to $12 million.
During a town hall meeting Wednesday night, the Henrietta Town Board voted unanimously in favor of refunding the money to taxpayers. Board members say it is the right thing to do.
"One hundred bucks. It'd definitely be nice to pay down some bills," said Justin Tranquill of Henrietta.
"Give me another town supervisor that you know that's ever tried this," said Henrietta Town Supervisor Jack Moore. "There isn't one."
A state audit found that since 2008, more taxes had been collected than necessary to run the town. The supervisor says it's because property taxes were too high. The town board is now asking the state to approve the rebate as part of a taxpayer assistance program.
"I'm trying to do it the best way I can, and I think the people deserve the rebate because they were overtaxed," Moore said. "Hopefully we will lower the tax rate going forward."
The refunds total about $1 million, and are only a portion of the $12 million surplus. Moore says the rest of the money will likely be used to find a permanent facility for a recreation center and a court house.
"To me, it's the right thing to do for the community - to set this community up for the next fifty years when it comes to buildings," he said. "That's what I intend to do with the money."
Mike Dinsmore, a homeowner, disagrees.
"Everybody likes money, but the other side of it is, I think the town has a lot of things that they could do with that money that might be better suited to do."
Before the refunds can be issued, the state legislature must give the okay. The resolution will be sent to Albany on Thursday morning. Lawmakers will likely make a decision by this summer.