Counties in the News, February 8, 2017
Wednesday's news from counties across the state.
Counties position on the shared services referendum proposal in the state budget
Last week, county delegates from the state adopted a resolution in support of shared services and reducing property taxes from a more comprehensive position that includes schools and mandate relief.
According to an excerpt in NYSAC's adopted resolution, “NYSAC supports shared services and has been ever vigilant in the search for increased operational efficiencies at all levels of government. Our goal is the reduction of property taxes in New York State, but in order for a realistic discussion to take place, school taxes and how public education is funded must be a part of the solution. School taxes account for approximately 65% of local property tax bills, and county taxes account for about 20% of that annual tax bill. Furthermore, of the 20% county share, NY State mandates are responsible for almost all of that tax bill. Shared services and consolidation efforts, while laudable, are simply not the answer to the much larger issue of high property taxes in this state. Any solution to that problem must include the addressing of school taxes and unfunded state mandates. NYSAC therefore rejects the consolidation plan and referendum proposal as presented by the Governor as being incomplete in its scope,” according to an excerpt in NYSAC's adopted resolution urging state legislative leaders to focus their property tax relief efforts on fiscal reforms that will lead to permanent and historic property tax reduction.
While counties will continue to aggressively pursue improved government operations, they do believe that more can always be done and we should never settle for the status quo. To this end, NYSAC and member counties look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to identify the appropriate mechanism to foster greater cooperation amongst the local governments.
To see NYSAC President William Cherry's remarks on this issue, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn2rnha3-_s.
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