The City of Utica still owes the Utica City School District over a million dollars. Monday night, some Council Members proposed legislation to prevent this from happening again.
Some Council Members are proposing to create a separate school district tax collection account. Currently, the collected school tax money is being combined with the city's general fund.
"We were notified by our comptroller that the monies due to the school district would not be available," said Common Councilmember Frank Vescera, D-1.
The City of Utica currently owes the Utica City School District $1.4 million in delinquent school taxes.
And as the city is obligated to pay the school district, some Common Council Members are proposing legislation to create a separate school district tax bank account. That account would hold all the collected school district taxes.
Currently, the collected school tax money is put into the city's general fund. And as the city is strapped for cash, earlier this year when it came time to pay the school district, the city did not have it.
But, as Common Council members are proposing this new legislation, the city's comptroller, Michael Cerminaro says the Common Council needs to focus on how to pay the remaining money to the school district.
"The only option is that they have is that they have to take out a TAN or tax anticipation note, "said Comptroller Cerminaro.
But, if the city does take out a TAN or tax anticipation note or, it must be paid back within the fiscal year; money that they city doesn't have.
However, the city, under state law has two years to pay the school the school taxes.
"The lawyers are saying why you are taking out a TAN now when you have two years to make up that money. So why would you need to do this needless borrowing," said Comptroller Cerminaro.
Comptroller Cerminaro says he hopes the city and the school board can get together to figure out a resolution to protect the taxpayers.
The proposed legislation for the separate bank account will go to the full council at its next meeting on July 11th.