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

February 02, 2010

The New York State Senate passed legislation (S5426/Aubertine) today which can significantly reduce the burden on local taxpayers by empowering county, city, town and village highway superintendents to better share services across municipal lines. Supporting shared services between municipalities will alleviate the need  for each municipality to purchase equipment and services, thereby cutting costs.
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.
“Towns and villages have relied on shared services agreements for years now as a means to cut costs and save taxpayer money,” said Senator Darrel J. Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent), Chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources and lead sponsor. “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.”
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th District), Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee stated, “By reining in spending, we will be able to provide homeowners  the property tax relief they need.  I was pleased to support this legislation as it will assist with reducing government spending by allowing towns, cities and villages to share services and equipment, and operate more efficiently. With this legislation, neighboring and nearby towns, villages and cities will be able to share equipment thereby reducing the burden on municipal budgets, and ensuring  our roads and infrastructure are kept safe."
Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), Vice President of the Senate said, “Finding creative solutions to reducing the tax burden on New Yorkers is a top priority. This legislation removes another impediment so that town and villages can function more efficiently and effectively, while cutting costs and reducing the property tax burden.”
Senator Neil D. Breslin (D-Albany) said, “Empowering city, village and town supervisors to contract together for services and equipment will reduce waste and save taxpayers money. Reducing property taxes is a top priority and this bill is a common sense approach to that goal.”
Senator William T. Stachowski (D-C, Lake View) said, “As a cosponsor of this important legislation, I fully support this effort to provide our localities with more flexibility to share their resources and services. The legislation will help our municipalities eliminate duplicate services, have access to equipment they didn’t have access to before and help them plan for the future.  This will help them improve their efficiency which could potentially lead to a reduction in local taxes as well.”

You can find more information about this bill, including the bill's full text, at our Open Legislation site: S.5426.