Date ArticleType
3/12/2017 Chamber News
Governor Has it Right on Consolidations, Mergers, and Shared Services

Governor Andrew Cuomo has recognized the enormous burden that property taxes place on upstate businesses and homeowners. Since taking office he has proposed, and the Senate and Assembly have approved, a series of initiatives to address our property tax bills. The most significant and at times controversial has been the property tax cap. We endorsed and continue to support the property cap because it is making a difference in improving the cost competitiveness of our region. The property tax cap along with state investment in local efficiency programs, the Citizens Re-Organization and Empowerment Grant and the Citizens Empowerment Tax Credit have helped empower local communities to make the changes necessary to reduce local property tax burdens.

Now working through the halls of the Assembly and Senate is a proposal by the Governor which would “empower voters to approve locally-designed plans that eliminate duplicate services to lower the cost of local government.” The governor’s proposal will authorize County Executives to develop local plans that reduce costs through the coordination and elimination of duplicative services. Once plans are put together they can be brought to the taxpayers through a referendum during the general election.

We applaud the Governor for continuing to offer policy changes and incentives to help drive down property taxes. We lend our support to the Governor’s plan to empower County officials to develop plans and bring them to the public for a vote. Notably and to the credit of County Executive Vince Horrigan and through the leadership of Legislator George Borello, Chautauqua County is well positioned for this opportunity. Last year Horrigan formed a Regional Solutions Commission to begin identifying opportunities for cost savings. That work is well underway and bodes well for property tax relief and the future of Chautauqua County.

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