Senate Passes Mandate Relief Legislation

Dean G. Skelos

February 07, 2011

The New York State Senate today  passed three mandate relief bills that would give local governments more authority and flexibility and help save taxpayer dollars.


“As the Senate works to enact a property tax cap, it’s important that we also pass mandate relief measures to give municipalities the ability to allocate resources on community priorities, rather than to address state mandates that may not be needed,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said.  “The bills we passed today are simple, common sense legislation to save money.”


One measure (S.800), sponsored by Senator Cathy Young (R-I-C, Olean), would authorize localities to deliver proposed local laws to members of their legislative bodies by email.  Another bill (S.598), sponsored by Senator Charles Fuschillo (R, Merrick) would allow tax collectors to send tax statements by email to homeowners who opt out of receiving paper statements


“Residents may choose to receive tax statement by regular mail or opt out of regular mail and receive the statement by email only, if that is more convenient,” Senator Fuschillo said.  “Switching to emailed statements would reduce paper consumption and waste and  provides cost savings to the locality through reduced printing and postage.”


“Currently, proposed local laws need to be on the members desks for seven days or delivered by the U.S. Postal Service ten days prior to any action on the proposed law,” Senator Young said.  “Email would be a far more cost effective way to notify board members of proposed legislation and would save money on mailing and printing costs.”


In addition, the Senate passed legislation (S.764), sponsored by Senator Young, that would allow two or more contiguous towns to jointly purchase highway equipment.


“The purchase of highway equipment is an especially large expenditure for local governments at a time when tax dollars are stretched to the limit,” Senator Young said.  “Under this bill, two or more towns and any villages contained partially or wholly within the towns, could jointly purchase and store highway equipment and save taxpayer's dollars.”


Last month, the Senate passed mandate relief legislation (S.2707) that would require any state mandated program imposed on municipalities or school districts, which created any net additional cost in excess, to be funded by the state.


The bills were sent to the Assembly.