Kingston, N.Y. - Ulster County Executive Mike Hein has announced the details of a draft County-Wide Shared Services Tax Savings Plan. This plan was submitted to the County Legislature and is the result of months of work by the Shared Services Panel, chaired by the County Executive with participation of the Supervisor or Mayor from each municipality in the County. The plan was developed to systematically provide meaningful savings to local property taxpayers. This action, which is required to be submitted to New York State, builds upon Ulster County’s recent participation in the Governor’s Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition.
“I am pleased this shared services plan is consistent with our many reformed-based taxpayer protections that have lowered Ulster County’s tax levy below 2010 levels,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “Although implementing a local efficiency plan was included in the 2017-2018 New York State Budget for the first time this year, we have always been focused on delivering more for less through innovative reforms that have earned Ulster County state-wide and national recognition. Simply put, we all work for the same taxpayers, so I want to commend and thank the strong efforts of our Town Supervisors, the Mayors of Kingston and our Villages for their efforts in this process. I am proud that our collective focus has remained on improving services for our citizens while simultaneously protecting hardworking taxpayers all across Ulster County.
The County-Wide Shared Services Tax Savings Plan, as mandated by the 2017-2018 New York State Budget, requires the Chief Executive Officer to prepare a property tax savings plan for shared, coordinated, and efficient services among the County, City, Towns and Villages in Ulster County. As submitted, the Plan could achieve savings of $1.7 million, or 1.2 percent, through its several component projects. The draft Plan has been submitted to the Ulster County Legislature for review ahead of the September 15th submission deadline to the State.
SUMMARY OF SHARED SERVICES PROJECTS
Shared Saugerties Highway Facility
The Town and Village of Saugerties are seeking to further their ongoing collaborative relationship by co-locating their respective Highway and Public Works Departments in a single facility.
Unified Ulster County Transit
This plan will result in a single transit system providing coverage for the entire county, thereby removing a duplicative, inefficient and costly service.
New Paltz Municipal Center
The Town and Village of New Paltz are seeking to create a shared facility to house both municipalities.
Ulster County Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Center
This project will allow the County to co-locate police dispatch and E-911, modernize all dispatch services for the County and create an opportunity to expand the County’s ability to dispatch for more local police departments.
Family Court Conflict Defender Swap
Both Dutchess and Ulster Counties will hire full-time Assistant Public Defenders to represent clients where a conflict exists. Ulster County will provide conflict defense in Dutchess County Family Court for approximately 150 cases and Dutchess County will provide the same for Ulster County.
Ulster County Municipal Purchasing
This project will seek to create a municipal purchasing consortium within Ulster County. The County will create an online portal that will better inform the municipalities of purchasing opportunities and create savings through economies of scale.