Panel To Identify Costly Regulations On Local Governments, Schools
State Senator Patty Ritchie has created a Mandate Relief Working Group to identify state regulations that are ineffective, overly burdensome and costly to local taxpayers.
The panel, made up of representatives from county, village and town governments as well as school districts, will offer recommendations on mandates that New York needs to abolish or change to help local governments reduce costs to taxpayers.
“Local government officials and school officials across Central and Northern New York have told me they need real mandate relief from state regulations so they can cut their costs to taxpayers,” Senator Ritchie said. “During the recent legislative session, I helped cut $127 million in mandates, but we all recognize we need to do more. My council will consult with local governments and school districts to develop a list of common sense changes.”
“Governor Andrew Cuomo is developing a statewide Mandate Relief Council. When it begins meeting, I want to have a list of recommendations that we can submit so that the interests and concerns of communities across Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence County are taken into account,” Senator Ritchie said. “I’ll also take these recommendations to the Senate to see if we can introduce legislation to help relieve these burdens on taxpayers.”
The members of the working group will serve as contacts for local governments to offer their own recommendations on common sense mandate relief.
“We all know we need to bring common sense to Albany to find ways to cut red tape and regulatory burdens,” Senator Ritchie said.
· New York has the highest local taxes in America as a percentage of personal income - 79 percent above the national average;
· New York has the second highest combined state and local taxes in the nation;
· Median property taxes paid by New Yorkers are 96 percent above the national median;
· Property tax levies in New York grew by 73 percent from 1998 to 2008 - more than twice the rate of inflation during that period;
· When property taxes were measured as a percentage of home value in 2009, nine out of the top ten counties in the nation were all in Upstate New York.
The working group will be co-chaired by Clayton Town Supervisor Justin Taylor and St. Lawrence County Legislator Kevin Acres of Madrid.
Members will include:
Oswego Town Supervisor Vicki Mullen
Fulton School Superintendent William Lynch
Former St. Lawrence County Legislature Finance Chair Peter FitzRandolph of Canton
South Jefferson Central School Superintendent Jamie Moesel
Lacona Mayor Peggy Manchester
Jefferson County Legislator Scott Gray
Heuvelton School Board President Jack Zeh