Skoufis Introduces Bill to Update Village Incorporation Law
Bill Would Halt Petitions Such as Seven Springs
Senator James Skoufis has introduced a bill that would halt Petitions such as Seven Springs which by virtue of simple signatures could add new villages to areas despite their impacts on neighboring communities. Village incorporation law, he said, has been virtually unchanged in 56 years and undoubtedly requires significant modernization. Furthermore, proposals such as Seven Springs in the Town of Monroe and which at its west end borders the Town of Blooming Grove and Village of South Blooming Grove, have been weaponized as political tools for major developers; in response to these circumstances, Senator Skoufis introduced bill S7375.
This bill does three key things:
- Raises the threshold of signature requirements to file a petition from 500 to 2,500.
- Strikes a provision enabling the owners of at least 50 percent of the property value to petition for the new village. Under this law, at least 20% of the residents qualified to vote in the town must sign the petition for it to move forward.
- Gives the State Comptroller’s office the authority to make either a favorable or unfavorable determination on the fiscal impacts of the village. If the Comptroller deems the village to be fiscally unfavorable, the village petition will not move forward. If the Comptroller deems the village fiscally favorable, the village petition will move to a full vote for everyone in the affected town.
Skoufis said “I’ll never stop trying to find new solutions to our district’s most pressing issues. By raising the petition signature requirement and giving the State Comptroller’s office the ability to examine the fiscal impacts we can ensure more fairness and independence Voters deserve to make an informed decision that best reflects the future of their community, and I’m determined to help give them that voice.”