State begins new competitive grant program to encourage local government efficiency and cost cutting, ease property tax burden

Albany, N.Y., May 17—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Elmira) alerted local leaders across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions today that a new state competitive grant program is underway that will award state grants to assist local government initiatives to reduce government costs and ease the burden on local property taxpayers.

O’Mara said that the new program was created as part of last year’s state budget.

“These state grants are aimed at encouraging local initiatives that are cutting government costs, improving government efficiency and streamlining government programs and services for the sake of our property taxpayers,” said O’Mara.  “Every level of government is being asked to do more with less.  We need to stay focused on additional mandate relief and other ways to keep reshaping the state-local partnership for the benefit of property taxpayers.  But this new competitive grant program represents another meaningful step toward helping local leaders find ways to ease the burden on local taxpayers.”

O’Mara said that the beginning of the new $40-million competitive grant fund for local governments was announced today in Albany by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  He said that a Request for Applications has been issued by the New York Department of State (DOS).

According to DOS, eligible projects must have commenced on or after January 1, 2010.   Local initiatives chosen to receive grants could be awarded as much as $25 per resident, up to a maximum of $5 million.

The program is available to counties, cities, towns and villages.  Localities can apply individually or jointly. The amount of an award will be based on the municipality's population and the percentage of fiscal impact on the applicant's total government expenditures.  Awards will be provided in three annual installments and will be contingent upon the demonstration of recurring savings.

The deadline for submitting an application is 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.
Applications are available on the DOS website at
Prospective applicants can also obtain applications by calling (518) 473-3355 or 1-800-367-8488.