New York Municipalities Blog

Insights on Issues Facing NYS Municipalities and Agencies

Latest Posts

Drones: Municipal Concerns and Uses

In a September blog post, “Concern Over Drones: Air Rights, Privacy, Health and Safety are Among the Issues,” we commented on drone regulation and privacy worries which could confront a municipality. As part of that posting, it was noted that under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, the Feder...
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October 07, 2015
Complimentary Webinar on Environmental Self Audits for Municipalities Slated October 13.

The benefits of conducting a proactive environmental audit under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Audit Incentive Policy will be the topic of a Harris Beach webinar on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at Noon.  Municipalities that voluntarily disclose findings ...
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October 02, 2015
Comments Needed on NYCOM’s Petition to PSC Regarding Local Gross Receipts Tax

Adapted from a memo Mr. Baynes sent to mayors, managers, administrators, fiscal officers and attorneys on September 15, 2015. Back in July, you received a memo regarding NYCOM’s petition to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the local gross receipts tax (GRT).  As you ma...
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September 23, 2015
Board of Regents Revises APPR Regulations Including Opportunities for an Additional Appeal

On Wednesday, September 17, 2015, the New York State Board of Regents approved new emergency regulations regarding APPR, most notably a new method by which teachers and principals may appeal their 2014-2015 growth scores directly to the State Education Department. In April, Governor Cuomo signed int...
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September 22, 2015
Concern Over Drones: Air Rights, Privacy, Health and Safety are Among the Issues

Originally referring to a male honeybee and in some ways meant as a “lazy worker” (as male bees make no honey) the word “drone” has become synonymous with unmanned aircraft. Drones have recently garnered attention for being piloted near airports, at emergency scenes and generally flying into...
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September 15, 2015
Municipalities Wrestle with the Challenges of Non-Hotel Rentals

A recent article published in the New York Daily News reports that up to 20 percent of vacant apartments in trendy parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn are operating as hotel rooms listed on the Airbnb web site. How a homeowner, or multifamily building owner, makes some money “to pay the bills” or fu...
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August 17, 2015
Lesson Learned in Arizona Sign Code Case – Municipal Ordinances Should be Content Neutral

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous 9-0 decision, invalidated a Gilbert, Arizona municipal ordinance (Sign Code) that restricted the size, number, duration and location of certain types of signs, including temporary directional ones.  The case decided a challenge brought to the...
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August 03, 2015
Summary of 2015 Reform Legislation for Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs)

The New York State Legislature recently passed legislation (A.7915/S.5867) reforming the General Municipal Law (GML), in an attempt to increase accountability and improve the efficiencies and transparency of the operations of Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) by mandating the adoption of standa...
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July 27, 2015
Novel Financing Structure Could Benefit NYS Municipalities

On June 17, 2015, the Tuxedo Farms Local Development Corporation (the Issuer) issued its Revenue Bonds (Tuxedo Farms Project), Series 2015 (the Bonds) to finance a project consisting of the construction of a waste water treatment plant, which will be owned by the Issuer, in the town of Tuxedo, New Y...
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July 22, 2015
New Timeframes Set for Teacher and Principal Evaluations

The Education Transformation Act of 2015 includes Section 3012-d of the Education Law which provides for a new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) system for teachers and principals based on just two categories, student growth measures and teacher observations. Each component has mandatory...
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July 22, 2015