Kingston, NY – (April 27, 2009) – Ulster County Executive Mike Hein spoke at a press conference today with Governor Paterson to discuss the Governor’s new Executive Order that would prohibit state agencies from creating any new  regulations that result in unfunded mandates.

County Executive Hein said, “The “No New Unfunded Mandates” Executive Order recognizes the irrational nature of shifting costs from the State to the local government. These cost shifts do nothing but disguise tax increases. It is important that all levels of government fully recognize that we all serve the same taxpayer. The next step is to examine past legislation in the same objective light. Clearly, the State needs to take a comprehensive look at the financial impact of new regulations and reign in any potential cost shifts. It is important to note that over 70% of Ulster County’s budget is mandated by New York State.”

The Governor’s Executive Order establishes guidelines for State agencies including the submission of a full accounting of the fiscal impacts of proposed legislation earlier in the process of developing bills, requires a local fiscal impact statement to accompany legislation as well as identifying a funding stream, and requires agency review of existing legislation to determine potential ways to reduce the financial impact of existing mandates.

Governor Paterson and legislative leaders have said that they will take a hard look at property tax reform measures later this year. The issues of cost controls and the reduction of unfunded mandates have been seen by all parties as critical to any effective reform of the property tax system.

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