Paterson signs government-consolidation bill


   Gov. David Paterson announced today that he has signed legislation that would make it easier for citizens and local officials to consolidate or dissolve local governments. Residents and local governing bodies could petition for abolishing or combining special taxing districts, towns, villages or other government entities.

   New York has more than 10,500 taxing districts statewide, 6,900 of which are town special districts for water, fire and other services.

  “Our system of local government is outdated and overly complicated, and today we are making it easier to consolidate or dissolve local government entities,” Paterson said in a statement. “The legislation represents real reform and will result in bottom-line savings for taxpayers.”

   The legislation does not mandate that consolidation take place. Under a government-initiated process, consolidation or dissolution of local government entities other than towns or villages could take effect without approval from voters. A majority of voters would need to approve consolidation of towns and villages.

   Supporters of the bill said it will improve government efficiency and save money, which will help communities keep property taxes down. It was proposed by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

    “With this new law, taxpayers are now empowered to cut the nation’s highest local tax burden by reining in the bloated and antiquated system that has left the state with layer upon layer of government entities,” Cuomo said in a statement.

   The governor said more changes are needed, such as capping state-government spending and local property taxes, reforming the pension system and providing other mandate relief.


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  1. This is great news and will lead to taxpayer savings and could help reduce taxes. I hope that the new law will be followed by additional legislation that will enable voters to petition to eliminate or consolidate county governments. I also hope that voters will have the ability to petition to eliminate unnecessary layers of NYS government–state agencies, the NY State Senate (we need a unicameral legislature like NEbraska–would save millions).
    Greenburgh Town Supervisor

  2. Pity that those who presently have the power and influence to lower taxes do not do so.

  3. the consultant on

    what paul is asking for is initiative and referendum…
    27 states have it..we don’t….and we can add recall to
    that as well