Chautauqua Lake District Support May Still Be Soft
It’s hard to believe so many Chautauqua Lake area homeowners are in favor of a lake taxation district.
A month-long survey resulted in 1,592 responses. Of those 1,592 responses, 75% own property with access to Chautauqua Lake and 62% said they support the formation of a lake district. That includes 33% who responded as ‘very likely’ to support the proposal, 29% who were ‘likely’, 7% who were “unlikely” and 16% who were “very unlikely”.
Those are surprising results. After all, those who own lakefront property already pay some of the most expensive property taxes in Chautauqua County. One of the concerns over a taxing district on Chautauqua Lake is those high-taxpaying property owners selling their houses and taking their money to other areas. There are still concerns being raised by Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin over how the lake tax would be levied and on whom.
And therein lies the rub regarding the lake survey. Pardon the pun, but the survey only slightly clears up the muddy waters of a taxing district on Chautauqua Lake because the cart has been placed before the horse.
Would that 62% support be so strong if the proposed budget for the taxing district comes in too high? It’s easier to support a tax before one knows how much the tax would be on their property. And, that support could easily shift if the district’s spending priorities differ from the taxpayer’s priorities.
We guess it’s good to know people aren’t summarily dismissing the lake tax district, but property owners still don’t have enough information to make a real decision on the district. We wouldn’t be too excited about the district’s support yet. It could change quickly.