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News from the Supervisor


For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release                                        

November 17, 2010                                    


Supervisor and Town Board United in

Proposal to Abolish Receiver of Taxes Position

Restructuring of Town Offices to Save TaxPayers Almost $500,000


The Town of Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack and Town Board members Shirley Lasker, Frank Borelli, Stephanie Hausner and George Hoehmann are united in a proposed consolidation and merger plan within the Town that would save residents almost half a million dollars every year.


The Supervisor and the Town Councilmembers propose the elimination of the Receiver of Taxes position, which would merge with the Office of the Assessor.  The new office would allow for more streamlined services to residents regarding property tax assessments and payments.  The proposed consolidation would allow for other positions within the Receiver’s office to be abolished, including the Deputy Receiver of Taxes. Part of the consolidation review is to explore the feasibility of contracting with a local bank to assist with the collection of taxes.


“These changes reflect our continued commitment to downsizing government,” said Supervisor Gromack. “We began this process as a unified Town Board when I took office in 2004.  Since then we have decreased our Town workforce, lowered taxes, and decreased our Town’s operating budget, all while maintaining the quality of services our Town residents expect and desire.”


Additionally, the Town Supervisor and Councilmembers reviewed the Town Clerk’s office.  Under the proposal, the Town Clerk’s salary would be reduced from $124,000 to $70,000, effective upon the resignation of the current Town Clerk. No decision has yet been made by the Town Board regarding replacement of the outgoing Town Clerk, David Carlucci who was recently elected to the NYS Senate effective January 2011.  In addition to the salary reduction, the restructuring will result in the elimination of funding for the position of Deputy Town Clerk. 


In all, the complete restructuring plan would save the Town about $450,000 each and every year.


“We are aggressively looking at consolidation initiatives that make sense within the Town of Clarkstown,” said Councilwoman Shirley Lasker.  “We understand the need to reduce the cost and size of government, which is why we continue to review every department and every position to ensure that it is essential to the function of government.”


“We need to protect our residents from high taxes and provide savings wherever possible,” said Councilman Frank Borelli.  “In these difficult economic times, we have to be sure we do whatever we can to be responsive to our resident’s concerns on how we spend their money.  I am happy we are unanimous in supporting this initiative to do what’s best for the taxpayers of Clarkstown.”


New York State law requires that there be a public referendum to abolish the Receiver of Taxes position.  A referendum could be placed on the ballot in 2011.  If it passes, the Office of the Receiver of Taxes, and the positions contained within the office, will be abolished effective January 1, 2014. 


Under New York State law, even if the referendum is approved by the voters in November 2011, the Office of Receiver of Taxes could not be abolished until the current elective term expires on December 31, 2013.


The position of Town Clerk is a constitutional office within the State of New York and therefore cannot be abolished either by local town law, town board resolution or public referendum.


“As we move forward, we will continue to explore other cost saving measures in Town government,” said Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner. “It is an evolving process for our Town Board and we look forward to making practical and strategic decisions to save taxpayers money.”


“The Town Board continues to put the taxpayers of Clarkstown first by saving money without reducing services,” said Councilman George Hoehmann.  “The move for consolidation in government has been raised by our Governor elect Cuomo and is something we are seriously considering on the local level.”


“I look forward to working with the Town Board to make this consolidation plan work for the residents of Clarkstown,” said Receiver of Taxes Loretta Raimone.  “I support this plan to save money for the taxpayers while continuing the high level of service my office has always provided.”



Savings Details:


Elimination of Receiver of Taxes position - $114,800

Elimination of Deputy Receiver of Taxes position - $92,480

Reduction of Town Clerk salary - $54,000 (current salary is $124,000)

Elimination of Registrar of Vital Statistics stipend - $4,500

Elimination of Deputy Town Clerk position - $61,650

Benefits Savings after restructuring - $124,485


Total Savings to taxpayers: $451,915 per year.





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