A Reform Toolbox for Citizens & Government Leaders
A new state budget provision would provide property tax rebates to homeowners in localities where local governments reduce costs and maintain services through shared services.
A challenging fiscal environment and notoriously high property taxes have raised structural and service issues to new levels as communities explore the potential efficiencies to be gained through shared services, dissolution and consolidation.
New Yorkers pay some of the nation’s highest local taxes, but most of the state’s counties, municipalities and school districts do, at best, an inadequate job of sharing details on how taxpayer money is spent. Improved financial transparency would serve the public’s right to know.
New York’s property tax levy cap makes it more important than ever for local governments and school districts to bring their long-term spending into line with long-term revenues. But most localities don’t issue budget forecasts that look further than a year ahead —making it it easier to put off tough decisions.
Retiree health benefits for state and local government employees are a huge, unfunded and rapidly growing liability for taxpayers throughout New York.