Relates to reimbursement for expenditures made by or on behalf of the county of Onondaga; requires the department of social welfare to establish the Government Modernization and Medicaid Reimbursement Pilot Program.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5513
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation
to reimbursement for expenditures made by or on behalf of the county of
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of the bill is to create a program that significantly
reduces property taxes by connecting the adoption of comprehensive
consolidation plan in Onondaga County with a state take-over of the
Medicaid costs. The bill will also establish a five member Commission
made up to oversee the process and determine if the goals of the program
are met, including adoption of significant modernization steps and a cut
in the tax levy proportionate to the relief brought by state takeover of
Medicaid expenses. The commission shall include the comptroller or their
representative, and state and local government experts appointed two by
the executive and one each by the houses of the state legislature.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill specifies reimbursement for expenditures made by
or on behalf of the county of Onondaga authorized in relation to the
adoption of a comprehensive municipal consolidation plan and a reduction
in the county real property tax levy.
Section 2 establishes the Government Modernization and Medicaid
Reimbursement Pilot program to reduce property taxes in Onondaga County
by connecting the adoption of a consolidation plan with a state take-
over of the Medicaid Costs.
Section 2b and 2c specifies the composition of a commission which will
oversee this program.
Section 3 - effective date: immediately.
New York is the only state in the union that passes a significant
portion of Medicaid costs on to the counties. While local Medicaid cost
growth was capped starting in 2006 at 3.5%, then 3.25%, then 3%, and
finally the growth cap was reduced to 0% in 2015, the exiting burden
continues to force counties to pass on the expense directly to local
property taxpayers. In its 2016 budget, Onondaga County collected $139
million from the property tax, and spent $97.8 million on the local
share of Medicaid. That's 70% of the total property tax levy for county
However, Medicaid is not the only driver of high local property taxes.
In recent decades, counties like Onondaga have seen flat or decreased
population. Yet municipal and local governments abound. In Onondaga
County, with a population of 468,000 residents, there are 36 general
purpose local governments, including 19 towns, 15 villages, one city and
one county. In addition, there are 867 special districts in Onondaga
County, including fire, sewer, lighting districts, etc. The inefficiency
of these multiple municipalities contributes to the hefty property tax
burden - a tax that has been widely cited as a major obstacle to pros-
perity and economic growth.
Yet, many of these governments and special districts offer similar
services and represent opportunities for increased cooperation or
consolidation, so much so that a local effort to study such consol-
idation has developed. This effort's "Consensus" report has detailed
many potential opportunities for cooperation, shared services and
outright consolidation. And the leaders of this effort are hoping to
bring recommendation before the public for a vote.
The problem is that the future financial benefits of consolidation are
hard to quantify and measure against the perceived loss of local
control. To truly transform local government and maximize the benefit of
modernization, real benefits need to be part of the proposal.
By connecting consolidation proposals to a state takeover of the local
share of Medicaid in Onondaga County, real property tax reductions will
be realized and the state will develop a model that offers significant
incentive for consolidation effort and drastically reduces the tax
$97 million once fully implemented.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2017-2018 Regular Sessions
February 9, 2017
Introduced by M. of A. STIRPE -- read once and referred to the Committee
AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to reimbursement
for expenditures made by or on behalf of the county of Onondaga
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 368-a of the social services law
2 is amended by adding a new paragraph (aa) to read as follows:
3 (aa) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this chapter or any
4 other provision of law to the contrary, reimbursement for expenditures
5 made by or on behalf of the county of Onondaga authorized in relation to
6 the adoption of a comprehensive municipal consolidation plan and a
7 reduction in the county real property tax levy.
8 § 2. a. The department of social welfare shall establish the Govern-
9 ment Modernization and Medicaid Reimbursement Pilot program to reduce
10 the property taxes in the county of Onondaga by connecting the adoption
11 of a comprehensive consolidation plan with a state take-over of the
12 Medicaid costs.
13 b. The department shall establish a five member commission to oversee
14 the process and to determine if the goals of the program are met. Such
15 goals shall include, but not be limited to adopting significant modern-
16 ization steps and cutting the tax levy comparable to the relief brought
17 by state takeover of Medicaid expenses.
18 c. The commission shall include the comptroller or his or her repre-
19 sentative; two state and local government representatives appointed by
20 the executive; one state and local government representative appointed
21 by the senate and one state and local government representative
22 appointed by the assembly.
23 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.