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Preston, Local Leaders announce Government Efficiency Plan to Ensure Rebate for Residents

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston joined leaders of several municipalities in Broome County to release details of a government efficiency plan, that will save taxpayers money and make them eligible for a rebate from New York State.

The plan is a requirement of the recent New York State Property Tax rebate program but the County has been streamlining programs, cutting discretionary spending, and sharing services with other municipalities for decades. 

“We have been working together to find ways to cut costs for our taxpayers, long before the property tax rebate program,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.  “We think it’s a great idea to figure out ways to run our services as efficient as possible at the lowest cost to the people of Broome County.”

Under the plan, municipalities must stay below the tax cap, and they must submit a plan to save one percent on tax levies for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

That one percent equals about $1.5 million a year.

Broome County’s government efficiency plan would save over $3.2 million in annual savings.

“We appreciate the County Executive calling us all to the table and working with us on a plan that will ensure the people in our towns and villages get the rebate check from New York State,” says Town of Dickinson Supervisor Mike Marinaccio. 

“The County Executive has often said the cost of doing business is too high for the people of Broome County,” says Town of Kirkwood Supervisor Gordi Kniffen.  “It’s a step in the right direction that we can all work together to save money for the people of Broome County.”

The County’s plan includes sharing services such as public works, information technology and tax collection.

The group has also discussed a variety of operational efficiencies achieved by reducing the number of buildings in use, consolidating positions and balancing the workload with current employees, moving some services to the private sector and energy efficiencies like lighting replacements, solar panels and the Catalyst project at the Broome County Library.

According to the program’s requirement, the efficiency plan will be submitted to the State Division of Budget by June 1st.

The credit is meant to reimburse homeowners for an increase in local property taxes.

As a general rule, the check amount will be the actual increase in your tax bill with an inflation factor – whichever is greater. 

Homeowners whose tax bills go down, stay the same, or increase less than the inflation factor will receive a credit equal to the previous year’s tax bill with inflation.

“Compiling the efficiency plan has been a valuable exercise in self-assessment and a worthwhile review of the way we have operated over the past dozen years.  As local leaders, we need to continue to communicate with our residents regarding the savings we have accomplished, the difficult decisions we have had to make to cut programs and staff, and our plans for redefining what our County does,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.

Counties across the state continue to provide and fund essential programs and services as mandated by the State, while also seeing revenues decrease with the property tax cap, falling sales tax revenue, and rising costs.  However, Broome County has found ways to continue providing these crucial programs and services even while funds decrease, as demonstrated in the County’s efficiency plan. 

Municipalities that are participating in the Broome County Efficiency Plan include Broome County

the City of Binghamton, Village of Endicott, Village of Johnson City, Village of Port Dickinson, Town of Binghamton, Town of Chenango, Town of Dickinson, Town of Fenton, Town of Kirkwood, Town of Union, Town of Vestal and Town of Windsor.

 

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05/07/2015 - 2:13pm