We spend a lot of time talking about mandate relief.  Probably more than we should.  But mandates are just so…costly that we are compelled to cover them.

So what is a mandate?  A mandate is a law or regulation passed by the legislature that often must be implemented by local agencies with no funding from the state.

But what exactly are we talking about when we say it’s important for the State of New York?  For the next few weeks, we will be posting one mandate every week day as an example of how mandates impact our businesses and local governments.  They raise costs, delay projects, and complicate matters for no reason.  They are…well…BURDONESOME!

We hope that you will continue to return to this page for more information (and a full list of mandates) as they are released.  And we really hope that you will share it with your friends, family and colleagues. (you can see the last 4 week’s mandates, 12, 3, and 4)

1) General Municipal Law § 207-a and § 207-c.  This mandate on local governments allows Firefighter and Police who are injured on the job to change their retirement plan (so they would retire later than originally planned) so that they are paid full salary longer than originally planned even though they cannot work

2) Limitations on Promotional Exams.  Only current employees in a department are allowed to take the exam and be eligible for a promotion.  This prohibits local governments from being able to higher the most qualified person for the position.

3) Local Taxation for Services Not Provided to Sub-Units of Local Government.  This mandate means that NY residents who live in villages (a municipal corporation within a town) must pay for town services whether or not they receive or benefit from them.  This produces a duplication of taxes and unfairly adds to the tax burden of village residents.

4) Restriction on Assessments for Condominiums and Cooperatives.  Under the classification of “condominium” or “cooperative” a building, identical to a single family building, will still have 50% less property tax liability. Many home owners take advantage of this mandate by having single family homes on shared land, robbing local governments of much needed income.

5) Utility Gross Receipts Tax.  This mandate taxes all utility services, providing money to local governments.  However, as more people move to cell phones and no land line phones, local governments continue to lose revenue they desperately need.  Taking cell phone companies under the umbrella of utilities and applying the Utility Gross Receipt Tax would provide much needed relief to local governments.