Fees, Fines, and Other Local Revenues
Lack of State Assistance for Communities that Host SUNY Residential Institutions PDF Print E-mail

 The Mandate: Currently, SUNY institutions are prohibited from entering into agreements with the communities in which the SUNY colleges are located to help pay for the extraordinary municipal costs associated with hosting such institutions.  While there are clearly benefits for local governments that “host” SUNY institutions, these same local governments are also faced with additional fiscal, public safety and quality of life issues as a result of being a “college community.”  

Increase Reimbursement Rate for Arterial Maintenance PDF Print E-mail

 The Mandate:  There are currently 38 cities that have arterial maintenance agreements with the State.  Pursuant to these agreement, the cities maintain certain designated State-owned arterial highways and the State compensates those cities for this service. The reimbursement rate of $.85 per square yard paid to cities for maintenance of state arterial highways has not been increased since 1987. 

Inability to Impose Fees for Volunteer Emergency Rescue and Ambulance Services PDF Print E-mail

The Mandate: The authorities having control over a volunteer fire department may establish an emergency rescue squad within the department and further authorize the squad to provide both emergency and general ambulance services. However, the statute creating this authorization, General Municipal Law § 209-b, prohibits any fees or charges for rendering such services. Municipal emergency medical and general ambulance services provided under other sections of law (e.g., General Municipal Law § 122-b, which governs those municipalities with paid fire departments) are not subject to such a restriction.

Inability to Impose Fees for Police and Firefighter Investigations PDF Print E-mail

The Mandate: Currently, written reports generated by a police or firefighter investigation of an automobile accident are available to insurance companies at little or no charge. The Freedom of Information Law sets a maximum charge of $0.25 per page for a document that is released to a member of the public and alternatively provides that, if a requested document can be electronically provided, it must be. These insurance companies rely heavily on police and fire departments for investigative work, reporting, interviewing witnesses, etc. They also have enormous assets and generally are extremely profitable, a direct result of quick responses by police and fire departments. While municipal residents generally provide financial support for the operation of these departments through the payment of taxes, non-residents do not, yet they represent a significant percentage of drivers involved in at-fault accidents.

Enforcement of Unpaid Building Code Fines PDF Print E-mail

The Mandate: Criminal enforcement can be one of the most cost-effective tools that local governments have to address building code and property maintenance violations.  However, cities and villages are currently not permitted to levy unpaid building code and property maintenance fines on municipal property tax bills.  Consequently, the criminal fines imposed by local courts do not serve as a deterrent to the illegal activity, because the individual, limited liability company or corporation that owns the property, often cannot be found to collect the fine.  The methods for collecting default judgments and unpaid court fines can be very cumbersome when dealing with absentee landlords and limited liability entities.

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