Chemung County Municipal Fiscal Transparency and Tax Stabilization Plan
Proposal: Creation of a Council of Governments with invited representation from all local governments in Chemung County. The County Executive’s Office and County Legislature will have representation.
Purpose: The Council of Governments will provide a consistent and ongoing communication forum for all local governments to participate in a process of identifying opportunities for increasing the efficiency, fiscal responsibility and quality of government services provided to the citizens of Chemung County.
The Council of Governments shall establish a schedule to meet and promote the following goals:
- Improve and develop communication methods between municipalities to promote greater cooperation and citizen engagement.
- Enhance intermunicipal cooperation among local governments to include efforts to reduce duplication of services and advance shared service initiatives where possible.
- Promote fiscal transparency and public disclosure of annual budgets for all local governments and necessary financial documents to heighten citizen understanding of local government fiscal health.
- Other goals and activities that the Council may deem necessary and appropriate.
Operating protocols: The Council of Government shall serve as an advisory body to all local government boards providing best practice guidance on various governmental issues of mutual concern and importance. The Council shall determine its operating methods and leadership structure and will provide advice and consent on any issues under the review of the Council to appropriate local government boards for considered action.
Committee Structure: The Council of Governments may create certain sub-committees to provide greater focus on key areas of mutual importance and concern for local government boards throughout Chemung County. Such committees should include a shared services and fiscal monitoring subcommittee to provide the necessary support to local government boards.
Shared Services: The Council of Governments shall provide support to the County Executive’s Office with submittal of the necessary annual mandated Shared Services report to New York State.
Fiscal Monitoring: The Council of Governments shall develop a set of fiscal metrics that each participating municipality will submit in order to assist the Council with reporting annually the fiscal health of all local governments. Where necessary the Council will provide best practice solutions to matters of fiscal concern for consideration by the local government boards.
Chemung County Fiscal Support: The efforts of the Council of Government Fiscal Monitoring subcommittee shall receive funding from the County to execute on the requirements of this effort.
The County shall continue to provide annual financial support to the City of Elmira for $400,000 as currently provided through the Department of Public Works and Building and Grounds shared service agreements.
The county shall establish a Town and Village Municipal Reserve Fund for participating municipalities through an annual allocation of $400,000 as a means of providing fiscal support for fund balance management and as a backstop for potential emergencies. The necessary condition for accessing funds will be determined by the County in collaboration with the Council.