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Countywide government efficiency plan OK'd by New York

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Thu, Oct 22nd 2015 05:50 pm
Pictured, from left: Town of Cheektowaga Councilmember Diane Benczkowski, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (at podium), Village of Springville Mayor William Krebs and Town of Eden Supervisor Glenn Nellis announce the approval by New York of the countywide government efficiency plan. In total, 38 towns and villages collaborated with Erie County on the efficiency plan. With the plan's approval, homeowners will receive a rebate check next year if local governments and school districts implement an approved government efficiency plan that projects 1 percent tax levy savings for 2017-19 and adopt a 2016 budget under the property tax cap.
Pictured, from left: Town of Cheektowaga Councilmember Diane Benczkowski, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (at podium), Village of Springville Mayor William Krebs and Town of Eden Supervisor Glenn Nellis announce the approval by New York of the countywide government efficiency plan. In total, 38 towns and villages collaborated with Erie County on the efficiency plan. With the plan's approval, homeowners will receive a rebate check next year if local governments and school districts implement an approved government efficiency plan that projects 1 percent tax levy savings for 2017-19 and adopt a 2016 budget under the property tax cap.

Approval clears way for property tax rebate checks to be mailed to Erie County homeowners

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced the New York State Division of Budget has approved the countywide government efficiency plan, ensuring property tax rebates checks will be issued to homeowners next year as part of the New York State Property Tax Freeze Credit Program.

Collaborating with 38 towns and villages located within Erie County, the efficiency plan was submitted to New York state, resulting in more than $14 million in annual savings through shared services, cooperative agreements and efficiencies.

"The state's approval of our countywide efficiency plan is a victory for municipal cooperation and for the residents of the towns and villages who joined Erie County to examine and implement better efficiencies in government," Poloncarz said. "The approval of our plan, along with my announcement that the 2016 proposed county budget will again hold the line on taxes, has guaranteed that all homeowners will receive a rebate check on at least their county property taxes for a second consecutive year.

"In total, our joint plan will save Erie County taxpayers over $14 million a year, recurring savings that result from my administration running a better and more efficient government and the sharing of future services by our local government partners. I thank the Association of Erie County Governments and the elected officials across the county who led the way in their municipalities on this important plan."

The freeze credit is a three-year program that provides rebate checks to homeowners for growth in property taxes. Last year, homeowners received a rebate check if their local school district remained under the property tax cap. Homeowners also will receive a rebate check this year for both their school and local government property taxes if they remained under the tax cap. The 2015 rebate checks will be issued later this fall.

Homeowners will receive a rebate check next year if local governments and school districts implement an approved government efficiency plan that projects 1 percent tax levy savings for 2017, 2018 and 2019, and adopt a 2016 budget under the property tax cap.

"Erie County did a marvelous job getting all of the qualified communities to gather and submit the necessary data," said Michael C. Kasprzyk, president of the Association of Erie County Governments. "This required a great deal of interaction and intense focus on ever-changing guidelines from the state. Residents in these local communities will receive a rebate thanks to the commitment by Erie County personnel to see the process through to the end with a tight timeline."

As per the state's requirements, the plan only includes Erie County's efforts to save taxpayer dollars since Jan. 1, 2012, which was the date the state's property tax cap was implemented.

Signatory efficiency plan communities are: Erie County, Alden, Amherst, Aurora, Boston, Brant, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Colden, Collins, Concord, Eden, Elma, Evans, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lancaster, Marilla, Newstead, North Collins, Orchard Park, Tonawanda, Wales, Village of Akron, Village of Alden, Village of Angola, Village of Blasdell, Village of Depew, Village of East Aurora, Village of Farnham, Village of Gowanda, Village of Hamburg, Village of Kenmore, Village of North Collins, Village of Orchard Park, Village of Sloan, Village of Springville, and the Village of Williamsville.

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