Cuomo Pushes Consolidation in New Competition


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing for upstate counties and local governments to consolidate, and he will provide additional funding to the city that does it best. What does he want in a consolidation plan? Something that will make property tax cuts permanent.

The winning locality will get $20 million from the state government, and is part of Cuomo’s 2016 budget proposal. In all, the governor plans $70 million in different incentives to get cities and counties on board with cutting property taxes.

The consolidation award would need legislative approval.

The move is part of a larger effort to get local government to consolidate since the governor first took office in 2011. Past initiatives have included the Property Tax Cap bill, a property freeze program, and a property tax relief program launched in 2015.

Gannett’s Politics on the Hudson blog notes, however, that the $20 million prize would only help one locality and that Cuomo has been facing pressure from local governments over the growing number of unfunded mandates coming out of Albany in recent years. Cities say it is those measures, not necessarily excess administration adding to city budgets and property tax burdens.