NYSAC Applauds Senate Passage of No New Unfunded Mandates Bill
County Association Applauds Senate Passage of "No New Unfunded Mandates" LegislationThe New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) today applauds the New York State Senate for passing legislation that would require the state to fully fund the cost of new mandates placed on local governments (or the expansion of existing mandates).
The bill, S.3411 (sponsored by Senator Rich Funke of Monroe County), acknowledges that "State mandated programs, unlike local service decisions, place local taxpayers and local officials in the position of paying for services that they do not control," and prohibits New York State from taking future actions that would "prevent localities from making their own decisions, and which force unwanted local property tax increases."
The bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly (52-6, unofficially).
"Enactment of this no new unfunded mandates legislation will improve accountability to all New York property taxpayers by requiring the state to pay for the cost of any new mandated initiatives," said NYSAC President William E. Cherry, the Schoharie County Treasurer.
The measure passed the Senate in the midst of a "Mayday for Mandate Campaign," which is being organized by counties across the state.
The NYSAC President encouraged the Assembly to take up the bill as soon as possible. "We need both houses of the legislature to be on the same page. When they pass enact new mandates, they increase property taxes. This bill will end that practice in the State Capitol."
The New Jersey State Legislature passed similar legislation 20 years ago, and voters in that state adopted a constitutional amendment to reinforce the action. In 1996, the voters of New Jersey voted in favor of the "State Mandate, State Pay" Amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, which created the New Jersey State Council on Local Mandates. This council is charged with determining whether legislative action is an unfunded mandate on a local government, and if that mandate is struck down.
"We applaud Senator Funke for leading the effort to level the playing field between the state and local governments. We call on the Assembly to pass the bill and the Governor to sign it before the end of this year's Legislative Session," said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.
The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State. Organized in 1925, NYSAC's mission is to represent, educate and advocate for member counties. www.nysac.org