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NYCOM Mandate, Property Tax Report

Jeff Monaski,WIBX

Utica, NY (WIBX) – The New York Conference of Mayors has a list of recommendations that it says will help avoid an imminent crisis.

NYCOM Executive Director Peter Baynes says before Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo can move forward with his plan to cap property taxes at 2-percent, uncontrolled, skyrocketing costs must be addressed.
NYCOM has issued its report, “You Can’t Cap What You Can’t Control.”

In 2011, “penions costs and health insurance for cities would be going up more than four-times what cities would be allowed to raise their property taxes by,” Baynes said.

Utica Mayor David Roefaro says without reform, a cap would have devastating effects.

“Eventually services will suffer because we’ve got to pay these unfunded mandates,” he said, citing snow plowing and green waste removal as services that could be chopped.

NYCOM is recommeding a one-year pay freeze for all public sector employees, mandate relief from Albany, binding arbitration reform and higher health care contributions from employees.

The group is proposing a minimun 10% contribution from employees for individual coverage and 25% contributions for both family plans and retirees who have health insurance through their municipality, Baynes said.

The only thing that will allow New York State to return to the ‘Empire State’ is the creation of jobs, said Rome Mayor James Brown. That can’t happen with the current economic climate and high taxation, he said.

Brown is encouraging citizens to contact their state representatives in support of the refroms.

NYCOM includes the mayors of over 600 municipalities across the state, who collectively represent more than 16-million New Yorkers, officials said.

Locally, the mayors of Utica, Rome, New York Mills, Whitesboro and New Hartford attended Wednesday’s announcement at Utica City Hall.

To read the full report, click here.

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