School tax cap recommended, cigarette taxes jump today, truckers want to roll through Albany, pothole for paychecks

A state commission has recommended capping school tax increases at four percent a year. It also suggested that the STAR exemption be linked to income so that high earners wouldn't necessarily get a break on their property taxes. NYSUT, the politically powerful teachers union, opposes the tax cap (that's what those NYSUT billboards with kids in graduation caps are referring to). New York property taxes are 79 percent above the national average. [TU]

New York's cigarette tax jumps $1.25 today to $2.75, the highest in the nation. [AP]

A group of truckers wants to ring the capitol with big rigs to protest rising Thruway tolls and high diesel prices. The City of Albany hasn't decided yet whether to issue the protest a permit -- though one organizer says the truckers will roll into town regardless. [TU]

A plan is coming together to reshape the intersections around Northway Exit 9 in Clifton Park. Among the goals: to put some "there" there. [Daily Gazette]

The Van Dyck will be going up for auction July 2. It's estimated to be worth about $1 million. A bank foreclosed on the building last year. [Daily Gazette]

KEM Cleaners has bought a new, somewhat more environmentally friendly cleaning machine -- and is changing its name to Greener Cleaners. It seems that "environmentally friendly dry cleaning" is a relative term, though. For example: there's nothing really organic about "organic" dry cleaning. [TU]

The pay check process at the Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works has hit a pothole. The DPW's office manager retired last week -- and with no replacement, there's now no one who can legally process the payroll. [Saratogian]

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