The County Perspective on the State Budget: Statement from NYSAC President Mark Alger

STATEMENT FROM NYSAC

The enacted state budget provides a blueprint of financial support for the state’s priorities. The 2014-15 spending plan builds on the three-year-old property tax cap by providing a rebate over the next two years to residential property tax payers in jurisdictions that stay within the cap and demonstrate savings through shared service and efficiency plans. Local leaders have long advocated for the need to reduce property taxes.

County leaders recognize and appreciate that these actions are designed to reverse the long-standing perception that New York is a high tax state. Local governments will comply with the new state law while pressing on for a permanent solution to the root cause of high property taxes: state mandated spending at the local government level. In order to deliver long-lasting and meaningful property tax reductions, counties will continue working with state leaders to find creative ways to reform government programs, restructure and realign the state-local partnership, and break down barriers that impede efficiencies at the local level.

The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) will continue to work with counties and all local governments and school districts to promote best practices in shared services, consolidating departmental functions, and modernizing government operations.

NYSAC commends state leaders for committing to funding statewide universal prekindergarten in our communities; reinvesting in higher education through increased state aid for community college tuition; dedicating additional funds for local roads and bridges to address the rough winter that has compromised road and bridge conditions; maintaining funding for emergency communication improvements to enhance public safety; and implementing a wide variety of tax reductions and reforms that will ease the tax burden on individuals, small businesses, manufacturers, agricultural producers and others with the goal of creating jobs and improving the New York’s economic competitiveness.

The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate and advocate for Member Counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.