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Zack Hutchins
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For Release — Wednesday, September 30, 1998

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS AND BUSINESS GROUPS
UNITE IN A NEW PUSH FOR MANDATE REFORM

ALBANY — Local business groups and government leaders throughout New York State are joining forces to tackle a prime cause of high local taxes — state mandates.

More than 50 local government officials and 29 chambers of commerce from around the state have formed the Coalition for Mandate Reform, The Business Council of New York State, Inc., announced today.

Daniel B. Walsh, president of The Business Council of New York State, said the Coalition will be tackling an issue that has become a source of mounting concern in the business community.

"Mandates have been identified again and again as a major factor in driving up the burden of local government expenditures and taxes in New York State," Walsh said. "It's time we stopped simply talking about mandates and started doing something about them. This isn't just a local government issue — it's a fundamental competitiveness issue for New York's economy."

The Coalition's objective is to document the full extent of the mandate problem and to develop a program of statutory and legislative changes for legislative consideration.

The research affiliate of The Business Council, the Public Policy Institute, reported earlier this month that the high cost of local government — driven in part by state mandates — is now New York State's largest remaining competitive disadvantage.

Property taxes in New York total $8 billion a year more than they would be if the state matched the national average per capita. Taxpayers in the New York City suburbs pay property taxes that are almost three times the national average, on a per-capita basis. And taxpayers in key upstate counties such as Monroe, Onondaga, Schenectady, Erie and Broome counties pay property taxes that are about double the per-capita property taxes in such key competitor states as Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina.

The new coalition was developed at the grass roots by chambers of commerce and other business organizations; they, in turn, recruited local government officials to join the effort. (Lists of participating chambers and local officials are appended.) The Coalition will welcome additional members as its work unfolds. The Business Council is providing logistical support to the Coalition's efforts.

"The formation of the Coalition for Mandate Reform is a recognition that the push for mandate reform will succeed only if it originates at the grassroots of both government and the business community in New York," Walsh said.

The Coalition will kick off an intensive fact-finding process by sponsoring Mandate Reform Roundtables in different regions of the state. The purpose of these regional meetings is to develop direct, dollars-and-cents knowledge about mandates and their costs from local government officials who have agreed to participate in the Coalition.

The information gathered at the roundtable meetings will be used to develop a comprehensive mandate reform program to be presented to the Legislature in 1999. The ultimate goal of the coalition is to build grassroots pressure on the Legislature to adopt the mandate reform program.

Walsh said the Coalition's program development activities will be assisted by the Public Policy Institute, research affiliate of The Business Council, which has created a Center for Mandate Reform to focus on the issue. In support of the Coalition, the Public Policy Institute will:

The Business Council is New York's largest broad-based business group, representing over 3,000 member companies large and small across the state. Based in Albany, it lobbies for a better business climate, and offers cost-cutting services to its members.

— List of Coalition members follows —

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS PARTICIPATING IN THE COALITION FOR MANDATE REFORM

Peter G. Bowers
Superintendent of Schools
Galway Central School District

Joe Braun
City Administrator
City of Beacon

Christine A. Bucieri
Mayor
Village of Oakfield

David M. Buyer
Councilman
Town of Orchard Park

Jeanne Z. Chase
County Legislator
Erie County

Jean W. Cochran
Supervisor
Town of Southold

Arthur K. Coon
Chairman, Zoning Board of Appeals
Town of Orchard Park

Toni M. Cudney
Supervisor
Town of Orchard Park

Anita M. Daly
Supervisor
Saratoga County

John Duffy
Director of Business & Support Services
Ballston Spa School District

Edwin L. Eaton
City Manager
City of Long Beach

Clifford H. Elliot Jr.
Supervisor
Town of Pavilion

Louisa Evans
Justice/Town Board Member
Town of Southold

Kim Ganache
Mayor
Village of Schuylerville

Wayne F. Gersen
Superintendent of Schools
Wappingers Central Schools

Roger Gorham
Superintendent of Schools
Ballston Spa School District

Clara Lou Gould
Mayor
City of Beacon

Jay A. Gsell
County Manager
Genesee County

Andrew C. Hilton
Village Trustee
Village of Orchard Park

Dr. William E. Hostetter
Superintendent of Schools
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District

Alice Hussie
Councilman
Town of Southold

Daniel Kelsey
Supervisor
Town of Alexander

Philip W. Klein
Supervisor
City of Saratoga Springs

Robert Knabel
City Manager
City of Batavia

Edward J. LaFave
Deputy Mayor/Trustee
Village of South Glens Falls

John E. Lutz
Superintendent of Schools
Alexander School District

Frederick J. Marshall
County Legislator/Minority Leader
Erie County

Thomas Mason
Supervisor
Town of Hadley

James P. McCarthy
Superintendent of Schools
South Glens Falls Central School District

James M. Mills
Superintendent of Schools
Silver Creek Central School District

William D. Moore
Deputy Supervisor
Town of Southold

J. Michael O'Connell
Mayor
City of Saratoga Springs

Ed Orman
Superintendent of Schools
Pavilion Central School District

Frank A. Pagano
Mayor
Village of Fredonia

Joan A. Pagones
Supervisor
Town of Fishkill

Brent Price Sr.
Superintendent of Schools
Pembroke Central School District

Ronald Pritchett
Supervisor
Town of Alabama

Jean Raymond
Supervisor
Saratoga County

John P. Romano
Mayor
Village of Ballston Spa

Susan Savage
County Legislator
Schenectady County

Richard H. Schaffer
Supervisor
Town of Babylon

Robert W. Smith
Superintendent of Schools
Elba Central School

Constance O. Smith
Supervisor
Town of Wappinger

Michael S. Stall
Supervisor
Town of Bergen

Charles L. Stoddart
Superintendent of Schools
Orchard Park Central School District

R. G. Stuteman Jr.
Superintendent of Schools
Batavia City School District

John H. Walker II
Supervisor
Town of Sheridan

David Wickerham
County Administrator
Saratoga County

Terry L. Wolfenden
Superintendent of Schools
Dunkirk City School District

Edward A. Woloszyn
Supervisor
Town of Pomfret


LOCAL BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE
COALITION FOR MANDATE REFORM

Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce
Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce
Amherst Chamber of Commerce
The Broome Chamber
Buffalo-Niagara Partnership
Chenango County Chamber of Commerce
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
Cortland County Chamber of Commerce
The County Association (Westchester)
Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce
Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce
Genesee County Chamber of Commerce
Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce
Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce
Greater Watertown Chamber of Commerce
Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce
Livingston County Chamber of Commerce
Long Island Association
Niagara Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
Northern Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce
Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce
Otsego County Chamber of Commerce
Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce
Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce
Rockland Business Association
The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce
Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce
Southern Saratoga Chamber of Commerce

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