Montgomery County officials will host a forum Wednesday night to discuss the efficiency and cooperation of the local governments in the county.
County Executive Matt Ossenfort said the forum intends to identify how governmental bodies can work together to improve the delivery of public services and save taxpayers money.
The Government Efficiency Forum will be held at Fulton-Montgomery Community College from 6-8 p.m. Montgomery County legislators, local elected officials, county department heads, school superintendents and representatives from the state Department of State will be in attendance to discuss ideas for collaborating more efficiently.
“I would like to take this opportunity to really look into ideas for working together to more efficiently serve our taxpayers,” Ossenfort said. “This will give us the chance to really get the ball rolling, find out where we have common needs, ask what works, learn what doesn’t work, and look at some best practices from other areas in the region.”
Montgomery County is required under the New York Property Tax Freeze program to develop a local government efficiency plan by June. This program provides two-year tax relief by reimbursing qualified homeowners for increases in local property taxes. As part of the property tax freeze, local municipalities are required to comply with the state tax cap and submit an efficiency plan to the state Division of Budget.
“We should not consider the development of a local government efficiency plan to merely be a task necessary to meet statutory requirements for participation in the tax freeze program,” said Bill Roehr, senior planner in the county Business Development Center. “Instead, we should envision preparation of this plan as an extraordinary opportunity to define how Montgomery County and its constituent communities can work collectively and intelligently to better serve our tax payers.”
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