Shared services, dissolution and mergers remain viable options for taxpayers and elected officials facing challenging fiscal environments and historically high taxes, according to a report issued today by the Empire Center for Public Policy, in conjunction with the Center for Governmental Research and GovWorks Consulting.

 “The streamline search: options for NY localities,” the fourth installment in the Empire Center’s Empire Ideas project, outlines cost-saving steps that can be taken by the 1,600 counties, cities, towns and villages in New York. The report illustrates how municipalities can work together to provide services, details steps residents can take to initiate a merger or dissolution and highlights the successful 2013 consolidation of the two governments in Princeton, New Jersey.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget for fiscal 2015 would link a temporary state-subsidized property tax rebate to efforts by local governments to reduce costs through shared services or consolidation.

 “This report highlights some of the tools available to citizens and elected officials who are looking for ways to reduce the cost of local governments while maintaining services,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Sharing services, merging or dissolving aren’t the only options for saving money, but they do deserve to be part of the conversation.”

Scott Sittig, associate director of the Center for Governmental Research said, “Municipal officials continue to face big fiscal challenges. And while there’s no cookie cutter solution that applies to every community, these options are important parts of the management toolkit that local governments can consider.”

Read the entire report at

The Empire Ideas project consists of research papers and public forums designed to promote ways elected officials, community groups and concerned taxpayers can improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of local governments and school districts.

CONTACT: David Lombardo, (518)434-3100,

You may also like

New Public Authority Payroll Data Now Posted at SeeThroughNY 

ALBANY, NY — 2020 for a total of 79,146 employees at 331 different New York State public authorities is now posted at , the Empire Center’s transparency website. 2021 is also posted for a total of 11,073 employees at 23 public aut Read More

Rec and Restroom Facility Projects Among Fresh DASNY Pork

A total of $87 million in new grants were steered to 174 local projects over the past ten months by Governor Cuomo’s State Dormitory Authority (DASNY) Read More

Post-Pandemic, New York should “Keep the Change”

Albany, NY — Many of the executive orders signed during the COVID-19 pandemic should be codified into law, specifically those that address health care services, occupational licensing and government transparency, according to a new Empi Read More

New York Spends More than All Other States on Education and Medicaid

New York’s spending on education and Medicaid will leave a hole in the budget after federal COVID relief money runs out Read More

Legislative Spending in Campaign Year Includes $7 Million in Postage

State lawmakers spent $7.3 million on postage for campaign-style mailings to constituents in the six-month run-up to last year’s elections Read More

Proposed Tax Hikes Would Hinder Economic Recovery and Undermine State Tax Base, Analyst Warns

“The economies of New York City and State will recover eventually—but how strongly, and how soon, are open questions. In the meantime, the Legislature’s guiding principal can be summed up in five words: don’t push more taxpayers away.” Read More

Empire Center Ranks Local Taxes, Spending and Debt Across NY

The Empire Center today released its annual “Benchmarking New York” report, comparing and ranking government tax, spending and debt levels for hundreds of counties, towns, cities and villages throughout New York. Read More

Sen. Skoufis Spends More Than Any New Senator

Sen. James Skoufis, D-Newburgh, had $134,858 in staff and member office expenses during his first three months in the Senate, the most among newly elected members of that house, according to data posted today at, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More


Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.


Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries:

Press Inquiries:


The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!