Why The Hudson Valley Council was formed


In the early 1970's the State of New York decreed that square dancing, square dancers and square dance clubs were a good source of sales tax revenue. The state proposed to collect the sales tax, and subsequently seized the bank accounts, homes and other assets of the officers of a square dance club in Binghamton, NY.

Square dancers, concerned citizens, and others formed an organization called the New York State Federation of square dance clubs, later known simply as The Federation. The Federation was composed of a number of councils formed throughout the state by local square dance clubs in those areas. The purpose of the Federation was to raise funds to fight the State on the sales tax issue. The Councils met regularly and conducted fund raising events to defray the enormous legal costs being incurred. The battle between the Federation and the state continued for several years and was finally won by the Federation. The property and assets of the Binghamton club's officers were returned an by the late 70's the legal costs - several hundred thousand dollars in total - were paid off. During the legal battle, the Federation made an effort to have all clubs become incorporated to prevent the seizure of assets of club officers should any legal action be taken against a club. An insurance program was also set up to provide insurance protection for the clubs.

The Federation began to disintegrate after the legal battle was over and it finally ceased to exist. Some of the Council's survived as local organizations. The lower Hudson-Valley Council - now known as the hudson Valley Council - was one of the strongest and has continued to serve the square dance community in this area.

Submitted by Howard Bennett