CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas and other Westchester officials joined State Sen. Greg Ball's "Stop Albany" Unfunded Mandate Relief Lobby Day.
Local government and school officials traveled to Albany to meet with legislators to lobby for unfunded mandate relief.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a “No Excuses” campaign, that will enact a two-year freeze on property taxes if local governments stay within the property-tax cap and, in year two, commit to consolidating service. However, without immediate unfunded mandate relief, many local governments and school districts won’t be able to meet this requirement.
Last year, Ball supported and passed legislation (S1294) that would require New York State to fund any program that imposes a mandate upon municipal corporations or school districts, according to the release. The legislation failed in the Assembly.
North Salem Supervisor Lucas said the "solution is simple."
“I would like to commend Senator Greg Ball for organizing this unfunded mandate relief lobby day," Lucas said. "The solution is simple, if the State approves any legislation that directly or indirectly increases local property taxes, the State should pay the costs for that legislation and not send it down to us in the form of unfunded mandates."
According to Duchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, 70 percent of the county’s net costs are consumed by mandates.
“Mandate relief is our path to substantial tax relief and comprehensive government reform,” said Molinaro. “With 70 percent of Dutchess County’s net costs consumed by mandates, core county programs and services are being crowded out and our residents must shoulder the burden of paying Albany’s bills."
Additionally, Governor Cuomo has commissioned an 11 member Mandate Relief Council charged with supporting proposals to reduced statutory and regulatory burdens on local governments, school districts, and businesses.
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