By David Schwartz
New York City, which represents almost half of the people in the State of New York, has one basic government, controlled by the Mayor, the City Council and the various offices under the Executive. The rest of New York State has almost 50,000 separate and distinct governments. It has been identified that New York has approximately 10,521 separate governments that overlap. In order for this state to survive and thrive into the 21st century, we must have massive reform and stand up to the special interests and eliminate these overlapping governments and services. Some of these separate governments were put in place over a century ago, before there were roads, highways and the birth of technology that shapes the way we live today. We need a 21st century government that works for the people because our citizens are being destroyed by property taxes and other taxes in this state and the results of the last election show that the people are not going to accept this situation anymore. Many of our citizens are taxed separately for county taxes, town taxes, village taxes, school district taxes, water district taxes and the list goes on and on. The essential services that are delivered to the residents must continue under centralized county governments. There will be massive opposition from the people benefitting from some of these plumb appointments and elected offices. These employees must be reassigned in the process of reform. Furthermore, it is impossible for new businesses to come to New York under the current set of conditions. This reform is a piece of the puzzle in order to get our State spending under control. We can save billions of dollars by taking bold action and in doing so, allowing us to compete in the global economy and bring real growth back to New York State.
David Schwartz is a partner at Gotham Government Relations