Greene Residents, Board Hear Consolidation Presentation
Published: July 15th, 2014
By: Matthew White

GREENE – A guest presented an informal informational presentation to the Village of Greene Board of Trustees and community members last evening, to shed some light on the plausibility and potential fiscal benefits of municipality consolidation.

With the focal point of the demonstration aimed at introducing both village officials and members of the community to the intricacies and brief overview of the consolidation process, the idea was pitched with little skepticism and several key points were addressed.

“New York State provides tremendous motivation for these grants in the form of citizens empowerment tax credits,” said Robin Webb. “This provides additional annual aid to re-organize a local government entity – or coterminous. That means that a village or town would consolidate and operate either as a village or a town under the consolidation.”

According to Webb, the financial incentive to municipalities is great; once consolidated tax levies are established, New York State will award the new jurisdiction 15 percent of the combined tax levy in perpetuity, meaning the newly reorganized village or town would receive 15 percent extra funding from the state every year.

“There is an incentive restriction of one million dollars annually, which prevents large cities from taking all of the money from the program,” Webb said.

Webb explained that of that 15 percent, 70 percent of that figure is required to be used for property tax relief for the village or town residents. The remaining 30 percent can be allocated to general fund appropriations.

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo has said the state has far too many governments – more than 10,000 – and consolidation would save money and lower taxes in a state that has the highest property taxes in the nation.

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