Senate Passes Aubertine Legislation to Cut Costs for Municipalities and Help Reduce Property Taxes

ALBANY (February 2, 2010)—The New York State Senate today passed by unanimous vote legislation (S.5426) sponsored by Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine intended to empower county, city, town and village highway superintendents to better share services across municipal lines to save money.

 “Towns and villages have relied on shared services agreements for years now as a means to cut costs and save taxpayer money,” said Sen. Aubertine, who introduced the bill last year as chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. “This legislation lifts onerous and unjustifiable restrictions that have kept pro-active and cost-conscious municipalities from sharing services and equipment on a larger scale. This savings will help municipalities in their efforts to reduce property taxes.”

This legislation enables counties to rent machinery from cities, villages and towns, even if the nearby municipality is not located within the borders of the county. Under current law, New York State’s counties are able to rent machinery from only a town, not a city or village, within that county.

Additionally, this legislation empowers cities, towns and villages to share equipment and services through formal rental agreements, when current law only permits only villages and towns to share in these agreements if the village is within the town. With this legislation, neighboring and nearby towns, villages and cities will be able to contract with each other.

Endorsed by the Legislative Commission for Rural Resources, this legislation is expected to be especially beneficial to New York’s Upstate communities, helping to relieve property owners of an already high property tax burden.

This bill is currently awaiting a full floor vote in the Assembly.