NEW CITY, NY – Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick announced that Governor Cuomo signed his shared services bill, S6445A, into law. The new law will save property taxpayer dollars through enhanced efficiency by expanding and extending the “County-Wide Shared Services Initiative” (CWSSI) which was first created as part of the 2018-19 NYS Budget. Senator Reichlin-Melnick’s new law not only extends the successful program, but allows more local governments to take advantage of the program by offering flexibility with regard to plan implementation timelines.
Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick said “Rockland and Westchester Counties have some of the highest taxes in the nation. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Procurements and Contracts, I have made it my mission to help our municipalities find innovative ways to save taxpayer dollars and hold the line on taxes.”
The CWSSI has saved property taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars across New York State in just it’s first three years of implementation. The major improvement in Senator Reichlin-Melnick’s law extends the CWSSI application for matching funds. The change in law allows for shared services panels to submit plans either on a January 1 – December 31 timeline, or on a July 1 – June 31 timeline, to allow for agencies to match grant timelines with their own fiscal year. Under the previous law, many municipalities missed out on available grants because their savings plans did not match the exact timelines of the New York State program. This new flexibility will make it easier for local governments to take full advantage of available grant funds.
In Westchester County, the CWSSI has produced $7.5 million in 2019 savings, $9.3 million in 2020 savings, and $27 million in recurring savings for property taxpayers, according to the Westchester County Government.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “Government at its finest is an operation that works cooperatively amongst different levels and jurisdictions to provide top-notch services to taxpayers at a cost that takes into account the burden they already face. Sharing services accomplishes that goal – and thanks to the leadership of Senator Reichlin-Melnick, Westchester can continue to take advantage of this taxpayer friendly program.”
In Rockland County, the 2020 shared services plan projects savings of over $2.8 million a year for 2021 and 2022 across dozens of municipalities and county agencies.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said, “We hear the concerns of taxpayers loud and clear, we have built relationships and shared ideas that are already creating efficiencies and cost savings and we are not nearly finished. My thanks to Senator Reichlin-Melnick for his advocacy in passing this law which is incredibly helpful as we continue exploring ways to improve and consolidate services to benefit our residents and save taxpayer dollars.”
Upper Brookville Mayor Elliot Conway is a member of the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) Finance Policy Committee, and represents the Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA). Mayor Conway strongly advocated for this legislation, and said “this legislation is a win-win for the State and over 500 villages with mid-year fiscal year ends who will now be incented to capture the full intended benefit from shared services.” He explained, “Many municipal contracts are written to match the fiscal year end. Under the old law, villages with a June or July fiscal year end had a 50% haircut of the matching funds benefit. Extending the law permits Villages with multi-year contracts that expire prior to June 30, 2025 to benefit as well.”