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Cuomo announces gov't consolidation measure

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo was on Long Island Thursday announcing legislation he says will lower taxes by facilitating the consolidation of local governments. Cuomo blamed Long Islanders? tax burden

News 12 Staff

May 22, 2009, 12:13 AM

Updated 5,535 days ago

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Attorney General Andrew Cuomo was on Long Island Thursday announcing legislation he says will lower taxes by facilitating the consolidation of local governments.
Cuomo blamed Long Islanders? tax burden on too many layers of government, calling it a crisis. There are nearly 1,000 taxing jurisdictions on Long Island. Most of them are special districts like water, garbage and sewer.
"Don't ask the taxpayer for more and more money,? Cuomo said addressing the Long Island Association in Melville. ?Reduce government expenses.?
Cuomo's legislation, which has bipartisan support among Albany lawmakers, would give county executives the green light to develop a consolidation plan. That plan would go to a referendum. Local boards could also vote to consolidate. If government does not consolidate, citizens could put the issue on the ballot with enough signatures.
Cuomo says he knows special districts and local governments will put up a fight against any change because ?governments create more political jobs and political jobs and patronage are part of the currency of the political process.?
The attorney general is cautiously optimistic his bill will pass the Legislature. Both of Long Island?s county executives say they support Cuomo?s legislation.
To watch Cuomo's extended comments, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.


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