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Legislator Hardwick explains to how unknown chargeback fee impacts community


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oneilj - Posted on 06 March 2012

Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick brought to light an unknown tax burden placed on every community in Erie County, and explained how towns and cities can avoid this fee. During the Feb. 28, 2012 City of Tonawanda School Board Meeting, Legislator Hardwick discussed chargeback fees, the cost that City of Tonawanda residents must pay to other county’s community colleges when a resident of the City attends a community college outside of Erie County.


In 2010, taxpayers in the City of Tonawanda paid $351,372 to Niagara and other counties, and since 2002, they have paid $3 million in chargeback fees.


“On a house assessed at $100,000, the owner paid $58.80 in 2010 to cover the costs of city residents attending community colleges in other counties. Many of the students are registered in classes that are offered at ECC, which is funded through their county and state taxes. As a result, we are being double-taxed to provide community college programs. I think if more residents realized what it costs to send students to another county’s community college, they would consider their options,” Legislator Hardwick said. “I wanted to talk with the school board and explain this problem. I am hoping that the schools, teachers and guidance counselors, who are influential in students’ future decisions, understand this avoidable tax and present ECC as a viable option.”


Legislator Hardwick added, when a resident attends NCCC, it costs the City $1,840, per student. He has been a strong supporter of funding improvements at ECC’s three campuses, including a current proposal to build the Center of Academic Excellence at the North Campus in Amherst.


“ECC has the classes and availability that most students attending other community colleges are registered for. We have to invest in our assets and attract these students to ECC and avoid any unnecessary tax burden on our cities and towns,” Legislator Hardwick said.


In addition, ECC offers eight of the top 10 programs that students enroll in at Niagara County Community College.


For additional information on chargeback fees or other county issues, please contact Legislator Hardwick at 858-8672 or email kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.


Impact of Community College Chargebacks
on City of Tonawanda Property Taxpayers
prepared by Erie County Legislator Kevin R. Hardwick

February 28, 2012


Sample 2011-12 Chargeback Rates


Community College                $’s per FTE (Full Time Equivalent)


               ECC                                        1,290

              Corning                                    3,000

              Genesee                                   2,000

              Jamestown                                2,740

              Monroe                                     1,190

              NCCC                                        1,840

              Onondaga                                 1,200

              Tompkins-Cortland                     2,340



Total Additional Taxes to City Taxpayers per Year

Due to Community College Chargebacks


2002                  2003            2004            2005            2006               2007                 2008                 2009               2010

$239,259       $270,258   $353,683   $351,106    $352,366       $367,925        $359,821             $382,397     $351,372



2010 City Assessment (from City Budget) = $597,412,172


So impact of chargebacks in 2010 = $351,372/$597,412,172 x 100 = .588 per thousand assessed value


This means that in 2010 a city resident with a home assessed at $100,000 paid $58.80 in additional taxes to cover the costs for city residents attending community colleges in other counties.