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State makes $20M push to consolidate local governments

New York governor Andrew Cuomo speaks in support

New York governor Andrew Cuomo speaks in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during election night outside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Nov. 8, 2016. Credit: AFP/Getty Images / KENA BETANCUR

ALBANY — The state is dangling $20 million to villages, towns, cities and counties to consolidate similar services with their neighbors, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said will reduce local property taxes.

Teams of two or more local governments will compete for the money to help in consolidation of services from payroll processing to snowplowing. A panel chosen by the Cuomo administration will pick the winners.

“Property taxes remain the most burdensome tax in New York and with this competition, we are incentivizing local governments to band together to think outside the box, streamline their bureaucracies, cut costs and deliver real relief to their taxpayers,” Cuomo said Thursday.

Cuomo has pushed for this consolidation of services for local governments and school districts for years, but few of the thousands of political subdivisions in the state have accepted past offers of cash to help in consolidations.

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