ALBANY – The leader of the Senate Republicans and members of the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) have come out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to require local governments in each county to offer government consolidation plans to go before voters in November.
According to the Albany Times-Union, Senate leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) on Monday addressed a meeting of NYCOM, saying that the governor’s proposal, while “laudable in its intent,” is too “convoluted” and forces local voters to dive too deeply into the sausage-making of local government.
Flanagan also said he doesn’t think there are too many local governments, as Cuomo has contended. He said if the public thinks the number of local entities is too high, there are ways under the present law to dissolve those governments.
The conference of mayors also opposes the governor’s proposal, and in a media released called it “another top-down state mandate that ignores the root causes of high property taxes.”
The mayors are asking for $133 million in state aid that they said has been cut in recent years from the budget.
A spokesman for Cuomo said the governor understands that some people want to “protect their fiefdoms at all costs,” but the governor’s plan is to get municipalities to talk to each other and actually lower costs for property taxpayers.