New York Announces Competitive Grant For Local Government Performance and Efficiency

In efforts to help reduce the heavy tax burden on New York residents, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an initiative designed to incentivize performance and reduce costs to local taxpayers.  A $40 million competitive grant fund is now set up as a part of Governor Cuomo’s structural reforms to relieve local governments from unfunded state mandates. This grant was initiated in the 2011-12 fiscal year, and is being renewed in the budget for the 2012-13 year.

The grant is now available to counties, cities, towns and villages, either individually or jointly. Based on an application, a reward will be given to local governments that have excelled in reducing property taxes and streamlining government.  The projects that are eligible must have started on or after January 1, 2010.

Applicants may receive as much as $25 per resident, with a maximum of $5 million.  The actual amount of the award will be based on the population, and the percentage of fiscal impact on the applicant’s total government expenditures.

The local government performance and efficiency incentive is highly beneficial to taxpayers, and the municipalities alike.  As Stephen Acquiario, Executive Director of the NYS Association of Counties said, “[t]hese. . . grants will recognize local governments which have stood up for their taxpayers and found smart, more efficient ways to keep costs under control.”

This post was prepared by Chelsea Keenan Albany Law School ’14