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For Immediate Release:
December 15, 2011
Contact: 518-486-9846
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ALBANY – New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales today announced the release of a Request for Applications for the 2011-2012 Local Government Efficiency Grant Program and the Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grant Program. The programs are an integral part of Governor Cuomo’s agenda to reduce property taxes and shrink the size of government, by helping local governments find innovative ways to drive efficiency through consolidation and reorganization.

“Building on the past successes of the Local Government Efficiency Program, I am pleased to announce that municipalities will be able to apply for funding assistance under the Local Government Efficiency grant and the Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment grant programs,” said Secretary of State Cesar Perales. “The Department of State stands ready to support our local government leaders and citizens to identify and implement actions that will decrease the cost of services and reduce the taxpayer’s burden at the local level.”

Over the past 6 years, the Department of State has provided more than $50 million in funding to 324 projects, which generated a projected cost savings to municipalities of $560 million.

“These grants will help produce recurring annual savings to taxpayers,” said Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government Dierdre Scozzafava. “Local leaders are a great resource to help us identify options to reduce the overall cost of government.”

Recent grant recipients, including officials from Chemung County, have expressed that the grants have provided much needed assistance. “The sharing of services and resources has always been a priority in Chemung County,” said County Executive Tom Santulli. “With the assistance of a New York State Local Government Efficiency Grant, we completed a study examining the opportunities for the sharing of highway maintenance services and equipment consolidation county-wide. This grant will help us reconfigure and make more efficient the services provided by our various municipal highway departments and ultimately result in the saving of taxpayer dollars.”

Local Government Efficiency Grants are competitive grants to local governments that help reduce municipal expenses and property taxes by helping local government entities plan for and implement new service delivery efficiencies. Under the Local Government Efficiency Grant program local governments may apply for:

The Local Government Efficiency Grant Program is a $4 million program under which eligible projects can apply for up to $1 million in cumulative planning and implementation funding. Municipalities can receive a maximum of $200,000 in cumulative funding, which includes up to $25,000 for planning. Applications must demonstrate an examination of financial savings, return on public investment, and management improvements resulting from project implementation. If funding is for the implementation of a past Local Government Efficiency study, the local cost share for that study shall offset local share of this grant only.

“We were pleased to receive help from the state,” said Village of Mannsville Mayor Lori Cashel. “The grant will enable the village board to take a proactive stance on the issue of government reorganization. Our goal is to do what is in the best interest for the residents of the village.”

“We have accomplished great efficiency by consolidating into one local municipality,” said Seneca Falls Town Supervisor Peter Same. “This grant award will help relieve much of the added financial burden that this process requires as the Village of Seneca Falls moves towards dissolution. It is our hope that the Seneca Falls experience will serve as a great example for the rest of the towns and villages of New York State.”

The Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grant, is a noncompetitive grant that provides funding to study, plan for and/or implement the restructuring of local governments subject to General Municipal Law Article 17-A. The goal of the Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grant Program is to reduce municipal expenses and property taxes through government re-organization or alternative actions if reorganization is not a feasible or desirable option, or will not reduce expenses. Eligible local governments are villages, towns and special districts. The maximum grant award is $100,000, with $50,000 maximum for a study; $25,000 in expedited funds for petitioned local governments; and up to $50,000 for planning or implementation of a municipal re-organization.

Up to $35 million is available to local governments for both the Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grant and the Citizen Empowerment Tax Credit. The Citizen Empowerment Tax Credit is an incentive payment for the reorganization of local governments provided to municipalities by the Legislature pursuant to Article 4-A Section 54 of the State Finance Law.

This additional annual aid to local governments is equal to 15% of the combined amount of real property taxes levied by all of the municipalities involved in the consolidation or dissolution, not to exceed $1 million. It applies to municipal consolidations or dissolutions that have occurred on or after April 1, 2007. At least 70% of such aid shall be used as direct property tax relief while the remaining amount may be used for general municipal purposes.

All funds are subject to availability.

The submission deadline for the Local Government Efficiency Grant is 4:00 p.m. on March 21, 2012. Deadlines for the Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grant are 4:00 p.m. on first Wednesday of each month except for January, where the deadline is the first Thursday. Questions about the grant program should be directed to the LGE Program Manager, as indicated in the application instructions.

Applications are available on the DOS website at Prospective applicants can also obtain applications by calling (518) 473-3355 or 1-800-367-8488.