Government
6:18 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

RBA and Unshackle Support Unfunded Mandate Bill

The Rochester Business Alliance and Unshackle Upstate are backing legislation designed to drive down the property tax rate.

The Unfunded Mandate Reform Act would require lawmakers to perform a cost-benefit analysis of programs local governments are required by the state to provide.

Sandy Parker, the head of the Alliance, says there's been a lot of rhetoric surrounding mandate relief and how to fix it, but no action. She says this bill could be the answer in easing the burden of mandates on taxpayers and the business community.

"The review process that indicates that the legislators do have to review each of the mandates and kind of put a stamp of approval on them. I think this provides us with a hammer that we haven't had in the past. So they can't simply ignore some of these efforts."

The Unfunded Mandate Reform Act is expected to be taken up in the upcoming legislative session. The legislature would have to vote on the mandates that the governor wants to be changed within 30 days.

"We know it's the right thing to do," says Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. "We're calling on the legislature to take up the bill, to pass it and send it to the governor and sign it. So next year we can have an honest conversation on how we're going to lower the cost of mandates in the state of New York."

State Senator Ted O’Brien and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle co-sponsored the bill.