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Cuomo to local governments: Cut spending
During a speech in Irondequoit Thursday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept up pressure on local governments to cut their budgets.
Cuomo touted four consecutive fiscal years of on-time budgets, something he says hasn't happened since the Rockefeller era. He calls it his "grand slam" budget.
The governor highlighted state efforts to cut taxes, but focused on what he called "unsustainable property taxes" levied by municipalities.
The pressure is being applied through the Property Tax Rebate Program that is tied to local governments keeping taxes under the governor's tax cap rate. Cuomo says they've got to consolidate services.
"Why does everybody have to do snow plowing?" Cuomo asked. "Why does everybody have to do purchasing? Why does everybody have to do HR? Just find savings where you can share services, share functions, and bring the costs down one percent a year."
Cities and counties claim they've consolidated services as much as they can, but Cuomo insists there's more to do.
"I know local governments say they can't cut anymore; they are as efficient as they can be," Cuomo said. "I understand that. The truth is a little different in my opinion. We have the highest property taxes in the United States of America."
Based on statements from Rob Astorino, the probable Republican gubernatorial candidate, taxes will likely play an important role in this year's election.