New York Municipal Debt Limit Exemption for Sewage Improvements Amendment, Proposal 3 (2013)
|Constitution:||Article VIII, Section 5|
|Referred by:||New York Legislature|
The New York Municipal Debt Limit Exemption for Sewage Improvements Amendment, Proposal 3, was on the November 5, 2013 ballot in New York as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. It was approved.
The measure allowed municipalities to exclude from their constitutional debt limits indebtedness, resulting from the construction or maintenance of sewer facilities, for an additional ten years.
At the time of Proposal 3's passage, the state constitution provided that municipal indebtedness resulting from the construction or maintenance of sewer facilities could excluded from the constitutional debt limits of those municipalities for ten years. Originally implemented in 1962, the provision was renewed every decade since. With the approval of Proposal 3, the provision was extended until January 1, 2024.
Below are the official election results:
- These results are from the New York Board of Elections.
Text of measure
|New York Constitution|
|I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV • XV • XVI • XVII • XVIII • XIX • XX|
The official ballot text read as follows:
|“||Exclusion of Indebtedness Contracted for Sewage Facilities
The proposed amendment to Article 8, section 5 of the Constitution would extend for ten years, until January 1, 2024, the authority of counties, cities, towns, and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limits indebtedness contracted for the construction or reconstruction of sewage facilities. Shall the proposed amendment be approved? 
|E. Indebtedness contracted on or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-two and prior to January first, two thousand |
- State Senator Jack Martins (R-7)
- New York State Association of Counties
- New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officers
- League of Women Voters listed the following supporting argument: "Concerns addressed in 1963 and by subsequent extensions of the amendment are still valid today. Although many pollution problems have been abated, new technologies allow for more efficient systems, development requires the construction of new systems and existing treatment plants age, requiring repair and reconstruction. The measure would allow municipalities to address sewage needs without impairing their ability to finance other needs."
Media editorial positions
- Adirondack Daily Enterprise said, "Vote yes to Proposal 3, which would continue letting municipalities exclude sewer system rebuilding costs from their constitutional debt limits... Sewer systems are essential, and no one wants them to fail."
- Albany Times Union said, “Proposal 3 would give municipalities until 2024 to upgrade. A Hudson River that's periodically inundated with sewage needs people to vote "yes" on this amendment.”
- Livingston County News said, “A vote yes will assure New Yorkers that we will maintain our commitment to clean water and sewage free rivers.”
- New York Times said, "And another would sensibly extend to 2024 the ability of communities to exclude the debt incurred on the construction of sewers from their constitutional debt limits."
- The Observer said, “The proposition is a sign that state officials realize many areas throughout the state have significant sewer work that needs to be undertaken - including Chautauqua County - and that having that work count against the constitutional taxing limits would hinder sewer projects from being completed.”
- Post Star said, “We recommend a yes vote on Prop. 3, on the grounds that, with the state tax cap in force and revenues depressed statewide, municipalities would be unable to bear any extra pressure on their budgets.”
- Watertown Daily Times said, "This amendment has worked well since 1962 and needs to be extended for another 10 years. A vote yes will assure New Yorkers that we will maintain our commitment to clean water and sewage free rivers."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the New York Constitution
Proposal 3 was referred to the ballot after being approved by both houses in successive terms by simple majority. S4065 was approved for a second time by the New York State Senate on May 22, 2013. S4065 was approved for a second time by the New York State Assembly on June 13, 2013, respectively.
May 22, 2013 Senate vote
|New York Proposal 3, S4065 Senate Vote|
June 13, 2013 Assembly vote
|New York Proposal 3, S4065 Assembly Vote|
- TimesUnion.com, "Questions that await you in the fall," June 24, 2013
- New York State Senate, "Senate Bill 4065," September 18, 2013
- New York State Board of Elections, "Proposed Constitutional Amendments," accessed September 13, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- New York State Assembly, "Senate Bill 4065," accessed July 18, 2013
- NYSAC, "County Leaders Endorse Ballot Propositions for Adirondack Park and Sewer Project Debt Exclusion," October 15, 2013
- New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officers, "Sewer Debt Exclusion on November Ballot," accessed October 14, 2013
- Lewisboro Daily Voice, "The Other Side of Your Ballot," September 25, 2013
- Adirondack Daily Enterprise, "One no and five yeses on back of ballot," November 4, 2013
- Albany Times Union, "Editorial: A ballot full of questions," October 30, 2013
- Livingston County News, “Voters are asked to OK 5 worthy proposals”, November 3, 2013
- New York Times, "New York’s Constitutional Amendments," October 31, 2013
- The Observer, “ENDORSEMENT: Propositions get backing”, November 1, 2013
- Post Star, “ENDORSEMENTS: Three remaining ballot proposals weighed”, November 1, 2013
- Watertown Daily Times, "Worthy proposals," October 27, 2013
- New York State Senate, "Senate vote on Senate Bill 4065," accessed July 18, 2013