NCVOA MAY 2016 NEWSLETTER
Published by the Nassau County Village Officials Association
Post Office Box 484, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
516-437-1455 ncvoa.org fax 516-437-1455
NCVOA May 2016
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
TUESDAY, May 10, 2016-6:30PM
NYCOM Deputy Exceutive Director
"Town Budgets and Their Impact on Your Village"
The issue of village residents paying town taxes consistently raises uncertainties with respect to when expenses can and should be charged to the town-wide budget or the part-town budget. This discussion will provide attendees with guidance on this often confusing topic.
Barbara VanEpps joined the NYCOM staff in March 2006 as Director of Intergovernmental Finance and was promoted to Deputy Director of NYCOM in June 2008.Barbara is responsible for all areas of municipal finance as well as the coordination of state legislative advocacy.Barbara holds extensive knowledge of government issues including municipal finance, State mandates, local taxation and State aid. Barbara VanEpps is one of the most qualified municipal represenatives to discuss the subject of Town Budgets and their impact on your villages.
.PSEG President Updates Membership:
Dave Daly, President of PSEG-LI, was the guest speaker at the April 2016 General Membership meeting. Mr. Daly provided an annual update on PSEG-LI’s operations. He focused on several topics during his presentation:
- Tree Trimming – According to Mr. Daly, “No program is more important than tree trimming” as power reliability increases after trees are trimmed. There are more than 10,000 miles of power lines and the company trims trees around approximately 2,500 miles of lines each year. They currently are at the mid-point of their plan, which he says will be completed in two years.
- Call Center – Mr. Daly explained that PSEG-LI’s call center operation is improving. His goal is to continually drive down defect and errors. The company received 400-500 complaints during the past year, which is down from 1,000 the previous year.
- Power Plants - Mr. Daly told the audience that “Long Island has too much power capacity and it is way too expensive.“ He said the challenge is how to right size power generation and generate clean emissions while controlling rates. According to Mr. Daly, the main component of customer satisfaction is price, followed by reliability.
Following his formal remarks, Mr. Daly entertained numerous questions from our mayors and trustees.
FROM THE PRESIENT’S DESK:
Another budget cycle has been completed as the state legislature passed the 2016-2017 budget. What a difference a year makes as two of the three “men in the room” no longer are involved. While the players changed, the outcome for villages remained the same as there was no movement in the statewide effort to increase state aid to local municipalities. Here is a summary of the key issues particularly impacting Nassau County villages:
AIM Funding - The adopted 2016-17 state budget keeps AIM funding at prior year levels, totaling $715 million for cities, villages and towns, and continues to exclude New York City from the program.
CHIPS/Other Funding for Local Roads and Bridges- CHIPS funding is unchanged from the current $438 million. The Budget also includes a $21.1 billion DOT five-year capital plan that provides funding for three new initiatives: BRIDGE NY, PAVE NY and the Extreme Weather Infrastructure Hardening Program. BRIDGE NY and PAVE NY will receive $800 million over the next four years for local roads and bridges. This includes $400 million ($100 million per year) for local road projects that will be distributed via the CHIPS formula, and $400 million ($100 million per year) for local bridge projects, the allocation of which will incorporate local input.
Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition - Despite neither the Senate or Assembly including this initiative in their budget versions, the adopted budget provides a $20 million grant for a county, city, town or village that develops an innovative consolidation plan yielding significant and permanent property tax reductions.
Consolidation and Restructuring Programs - The budget includes $39 million to support the Citizens Empowerment Tax Credits, the Citizen Reorganization Empowerment Grants and the Local Government Efficiency Grants.
- Citizen Empowerment Tax Credits – Funding is available to incentivize local government consolidation or dissolution, providing a bonus equal to 15% of the newly combined local government’s tax levy. At least 70% of such amount must be used for direct relief to property taxpayers.
- Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grants – Funding is available for grants up to $100,000 for local governments to cover costs associated with studies, plans and implementation efforts related to local government reorganization activities. The local match for planning or study grants initiated by the local government would be 50%. However, upon approval of the local government reorganization, 80% of the local match would be refunded.
- Local Government Efficiency Grants – Funding of $4 million will continue to cover costs associated with local government efficiency projects, such as planning for and/or implementation of a functional consolidation, shared or cooperative services, and regionalized delivery of services. The local match for planning or study grants is 50%. However, if a local government implements a previously completed planning project, the local match for the planning project would be refunded (up to the local share for implementation). The maximum implementation grant award is $200,000 per municipality/$1million per grant, and the maximum planning grant award is $12,500 per municipality/$100,000 per grant. In addition, $40 million is available for grants awarded by the Financial Restructuring Board through the Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program.
While Governor Cuomo has expressed a strong desire to work with local villages on the Third Track proposal, it is disappointing he remains dogged in his desire to eliminate local governments.
PSEG President Updates Membership
I would like to publicly thank Dave Daly, president of PSEG-LI, for speaking at our April 2016 General Membership meeting. Mr. Daly looks forward to his annual visit as he is able to provide mayors and trustees with a more detailed update on PSEG-LI’s operations. As always, he is interested in soliciting input from village officials and does not hesitate to address our issues or concerns. We appreciate him taking the time to be with us.
Are Your Town Charges Correct?
Is your town properly charging your village for services it provides? How would you know what to look for when analyzing town fees? The NCVOA is fortunate to have Barbara VanEpps, NYCOM deputy director, as our guest speaker at the upcoming May 10 General Membership meeting. Barbara coordinates NYCOM's state legislative advocacy efforts and is responsible for municipal finance, budget development and implementation, state aid, local tax issues, telecommunications, New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) and the New York Municipal Workers' Compensation Alliance. She is expert in analyzing budgets and will provide invaluable guidance as to how you can potentially save your village thousands of dollars. Please make sure you invite your village clerk/treasurer to join you as you will learn how to ensure your village is being properly charged for services.
The meeting at Westbury Manor begins at 6:30 pm with a cocktail reception, followed by the meeting and program at 7:30 pm. I look forward to seeing you May 10.
Mayor Barbara Donno, President
Thinking Ahead: June will see the Election and Installation of Officers for the Nassau County Village Officials Association for our 2016-2017 year. The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 30,2016 and will be held in the Westbury Manor starting at 6:30PM.
April 2016 Meeting Attendees
The Last Word:
"Not all birds can fly. What separates the flyers from the walkers is the ability to take off."
Carl Sagan, Astronomer