Terry Gipson

December 12, 2013

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – New York State Senator Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) highlighted his unfunded mandate package as a mechanism for meaningful long-term property tax relief following the most recent Tax Commission report. Senator Gipson has introduced three pieces of legislation that would end future unfunded mandates and deliver immediate relief to counties in an effort to reduce property taxes.

“It’s important that the commission’s report includes property tax relief, however I believe New York must take a much more significant approach to long-term property tax relief,” said Senator Gipson. “This includes delivering immediate mandate relief to municipalities. Further, we must end the decades old culture of the status quo in Albany handing down new unfunded mandates without providing funding for many of these important programs. These steps would give municipalities the ability to use their revenue to invest in significant and sustainable property tax relief.

Senator Gipson’s unfunded mandate package aimed at delivering property tax relief includes:

The County Payment Relief Act (CPR), S.5996, provides state aid to counties to pay for existing unfunded mandates. Each county (outside of NYC) will receive $20 per resident. The legislation requires that funding must be used to alleviate the stress placed on county budgets directly by unfunded mandates. In the 41st Senate District, Dutchess County, with a population of approximately 300,000, would receive $6 million. Putnam County, with population of approximately 100,000, would receive $2 million.

The second bill, S.6001, would create a grant pool of $400 million in which counties (outside of NYC) would be eligible to apply for grants to help pay for their state mandated Early Intervention Programs. The New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP) is an important program that offers a variety of therapeutic and support services to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. If New York State was to completely cover the cost of Dutchess County’s early intervention programs, it could save the county approximately $9 million dollars.

The third piece of legislation, S.5126, that would amend the New York State Constitution prohibiting the state from imposing new unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Kieran Lalor (R,C,I-Fishkill) in the assembly, would allow local governments to choose whether a mandate will be implemented in their municipality, and require the state to fund mandates that are unreasonably costly.

Added Senator Gipson: “Delivering mandate relief will also encourage local investments in our economy and job creation by making New York a more affordable place to do business and live.”

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