*Sales tax and property tax are the two primary revenue streams for Chemung County.
*New York State requires many services be provided by Chemung County but provides no funds to do so. These "Unfunded Mandates"currently require 100% of all property taxes collected in the County and almost 20% of the sales taxes as well!
*Chemung County has long shared sales tax proceeds with the City of Elmira and all the towns and villages in the County. It is not required to do so. Due to declines in the sales tax revenue, it was decided to reduce the share given to the municipalities. A plan was then created and implemented over a several years to allow municipalities to adjust. That plan ends this year.
*Along with the sales tax distribution change, Chemung County offered to assist the City, towns and villages in reducing their operating costs. The focus of these efforts were through "Shared Services", which are agreements that facilitate the municipalities to cooperate with each other and with the County - to share personnel, purchasing, equipment and other resources. The idea was to reduce duplicate costs and find ways to make all local government more efficient, thereby saving money.
* For example, agreements relieved the City of Elmira of paying for public works (roads, etc.), buildings and grounds, purchasing. IT, emergency (911) and more. The City lost some revenue with the sales tax distribution change, but more than made up for that in savings from decreased operating expenses. The savings to the City going forward is in the millions of dollars.
*Our Town of Elmira also saves taxpayer money in this way with the County now performing Town bookkeeping and accounting functions. A recent agreement will transfer our Town Highway Superintendent to the County payroll and this one arrangement alone will save our town in excess of $80,000 per year.
Rather than simply raise resident's property taxes to compensate for lost sales tax revenue (the quick and easy option), the County instead instituted a creative plan which improved cooperation between local governments, increased efficiencies long term, and decreased wasteful spending. All this, with ZERO increase in your County and Town of Elmira taxes!