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Property Tax Freeze Proposal

Property Tax Freeze Proposal

      ELMIRA---(WENY) New York Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy paid a visit to Elmira Wednesday to talk about Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to reduce property taxes for homeowners in the state.
      Part of Governor Cuomo's tax reform plan is to give New York homeowners a break by freezing the property tax for two years in places where local governments stay below the 2% tax cap. It's a way to encourage municipalities to save money and reduce costs.
     Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy says, "By counties and towns and villages and cities working together and sharing services, you can save money. Take those savings off the burdens of families who are struggling to survive and just paying these exorbitant property taxes."
     Chemung County is already ahead of the game, now going into it's 10th year of not raising taxes, largely due to efforts with shared services- something Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli advocates. He says, " I just think it's a combination of us working together and sharing services, buying equipment together, sharing equipment. Everybody doesn't have to have these big expensive pieces of machinery that we only use a limited amount of time."
     There's talk of more shared service possibilities to come with the City of Elmira. The Governor's tax reform plan would save the state more than $1 billion dollars.
      Here locally, that translates into about $3 million in savings for Chemung County and about $175,000.00 per homeowner.

* An earlier version of this story stated Chemung Co. was taking over the Town of Big Flats Highway Department.  That is not true.  Big Flats and Chemung County do have a shared services agreement.