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Last Minute Lobbying Of Congress Members Helps Pass GOP Tax Bill

The mayor of Binghamton texted Southern Tier Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) about his worries with the bill - worries that she shared. But it wasn’t until US Vice President Mike Pence called her Wednesday afternoon that Tenney finally decided to help pass it. The sticking point? The elimination of a state and local tax deduction - or SALT. The SALT deduction allows taxpayers to offset the burden of state and local taxes by deducting them on their federal return. It protects against “double taxation."

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How The SALT Deduction Works And Why It Matters In New York

Part of the debate over Republican tax plans in Congress has been a limit to the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction. The SALT deduction allows taxpayers to offset the burden of state and local taxes by deducting them on their federal return. It’s been a sticking point in New York. Seven of the state’s nine Republican members of Congress want to keep the deduction. Governor Cuomo and other state Democratic leaders do, too.

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Binghamton Mayor David: GOP Tax Plans “Unfair” To New York

Binghamton Mayor Rich David is joining the chorus of lawmakers who oppose the Republican tax plans in Congress. David said the plan is unfair to New Yorkers, especially the limit to state and local tax deductions (SALT). The SALT deduction allows taxpayers who itemize their taxes to deduct their state and local taxes on their federal return. This helps offset the burden in high tax states like New York. This is something that we’re very concerned about," David said. "When the city, the county the school district talk about how to provide tax relief, with regard to our own budgets, it is counterproductive then at the federal level when you eliminate deductions that are very important to local taxpayers."  David said the deduction protects people from double taxation.

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Fenton Residents Fume Waiting On Next Gas Transfer Station Decision From DEC

Even with no update on the station, Fenton Planning Board meetings are packed and tense. At a meeting this week, residents protested the station wearing white t-shirts that read “no compressor station” in red and black writing. There's a picture of a gas pipeline on the bottom. The residents and the board are waiting to hear back from the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation is combing through 14 state agencies to pick one to run an environmental study.

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Fenton Residents Fume Waiting On Next Gas Transfer Station Decision From DEC

Even with no update on the station, Fenton Planning Board meetings are packed and tense. At a meeting this week, residents protested the station wearing white t-shirts that read “no compressor station” in red and black writing. There's a picture of a gas pipeline on the bottom. The residents and the board are waiting to hear back from the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation is combing through 14 state agencies to pick one to run an environmental study.

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Where Binghamton Mayoral Candidates Stand On Regional Issues

Next Tuesday, Binghamton voters choose between Republican incumbent Rich David and Democrat Tarik Abdelazim for their next mayor. WSKG’s Gabe Altieri talked with both of the candidates about issues that affect not only Binghamton, but communities throughout the Southern Tier.  Blight and Opioids: On Blight: When a property is foreclosed on, the county takes control, then auctions it off. Tarik Abdelazim doesn’t like this process. He says the people bidding on these properties are often slumlords who aren’t interested in revitalizing them. Abdelazim, instead, wants to move all the properties over to the land bank and only sell to landlords without code violations at their properties over the last two years.

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The Legend Behind The Binghamton Devils Nickname

Binghamton’s professional hockey team plays its first regular-season game on Saturday. The Binghamton Devils borrowed their nickname from the New Jersey Devils, their parent club.  The word “Devil” can connote fire, torture, burning for all eternity. But, not this Devil. This one is based on an urban legend. “This is not the devil of the bible," said Angus Gillespie, a professor and folklorist at Rutger University. "This is a creature, a legendary creature of southern New Jersey.” So, think less Adam and Eve and more Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot.

Fenton Pushes Forward After Transfer Station Ruling

The Town of Fenton is prepared to start over with a new process to approve a natural gas transfer station. A Broome County Supreme Court Judge halted the project this week. The judge said the town didn’t follow the proper safety and environmental procedures when it approved the application from NG Advantage, a natural gas delivery company. But he did open the door for the company to reapply. NG indicates it plans to do so.

New York’s ‘Broadband For All’ Program Enters Final Round

The deadline for the final round of funding for New York’s Broadband Program is August 31st.* The funding will cover projects for the last two percent of the state. These are some of the most remote areas, where the terrain can be rough and population is sparse.   Jeff Golden works for HaefeleTV, a small telecom company in Spencer, New York. He said the public investment is needed for these areas. “There isn’t a version of this story where these are areas that are going to be covered via private investment,” Golden said. The grant money will help lay the infrastructure, like installing poles and wiring.

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Broome County Sets Up Peer Response Team To Fight Opioid Epidemic

Broome County is launching a program to get treatment for people at risk of an opioid overdose. It’s called the Peer Response Team. It works with law enforcement, hospitals and social services around Broome County. The idea is to better connect people at risk of an overdose to the services they need. “It is my hope that this initiative will give us the opportunity to be out in the community," said Jill Lloyd, of the Addiction Center of Broome County, "[It can help us] reach out to populations who may not feel comfortable stepping forward and stepping up to treatment services themselves.” The ACBC will have certified peer advocates meet with the at-risk person, establish contact and conduct wellness checks. County Executive Jason Garnar said there were 76 overdose deaths in Broome last year.