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December 11, 2008



State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Statement on
Legislation Aimed at Reducing Local Government Costs

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today released a statement regarding the proposed legislation aimed at easing barriers to consolidating and dissolving local governments in New York State.

“New York is so used to our current structures of government that we rarely stop to think about how they can be changed,” DiNapoli said. “We need to empower residents and local officials to find the most efficient way to deliver services and reduce costs. This legislation is an important part of the discussion.

“New York cannot keep doing business as usual, because we don’t have the dollars to pay for business as usual. Let’s build a better model of government that recognizes fiscal realities and still remembers what the legitimate purpose of government is.”

In 2008, DiNapoli and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi successfully proposed legislation aimed at making special districts more accountable and make information more accessible to taxpayers. The legislation required special districts with elected boards of commissioners to obtain public input during the budget process and disclose all financial information and public meetings.

In March 2007, DiNapoli released a report on special districts that found significant growth in the number of special districts statewide. Towns establish special districts so they can offer services such as lighting, water, sewer, refuse collection, parks and drainage into a particular area. The report found that taxpayers on average pay $257 per household for special districts in New York State, with taxpayers in Nassau County paying the most statewide ($946).

Click here for a copy of the March 2007 special district report.

In addition, DiNapoli’s office has released two publications on navigating the legal process for consolidating special district and local justice courts.

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