Oneida County Reviews Tax Structure and Calls for Consolidation: What You Need to Know

A $400,000 home outside of Atlanta, Georgia has an annual tax burden of $2,400, but in Oneida County, New York, a home’s tax burden of $185,000 is 2.5 times higher: $6,000 per year.

That’s the claim made by Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. last month during his annual county state address. He had spoken with someone he knows who lives in the Atlanta area, and they noted the discrepancies in the annual tax bills of the two regions.

Picente used tax differences between households to announce an inspection of the tax structure at all levels of government. James Genovese, commissioner for town planning, tackles the project.

“We are clearly missing something,” Picente said in April.

Oneida County Tax Structure Review

Genovese said his office has already begun reviewing the county’s 300 tax jurisdictions, including highways, schools and lighting jurisdictions.

The Oneida County Planning Department will study what money is coming in, where it is going and whether it is able to continue doing so for the long term, he said.

“You can think of it as an inventory,” Genovese said, describing the county’s tax inspectorate. “…You can think of it as a roadmap.”

This is the first time the county has developed an internal plan for all tax jurisdictions.

The project, which is already underway, will seek to make departmental taxes more efficient, while being less costly.

Genovese said it would take 6-10 months to complete.

It will be up to the various municipalities and tax jurisdictions to implement any potential changes that may arise during the inspection.

They have to do the hard work, Picente said, adding that the county will give them the road map.

Conserve by Consolidation

In addition to looking to save money through tax structure inspection in all jurisdictions, Picente is also looking for municipalities to save money through consolidation — it may even pay them to do so.

During his April speech, Picente said the county would pay a municipality double the amount saved, if it really did consolidate.

“There has to be more than that,” he said of the consolidation, noting that it couldn’t just be cutting around the edges.

Picente further said consolidation efforts could also include the county’s 15 school districts.

New Hartford City Hall

New Hartford Consolidation Success

Maybe the most recent consolidation show happened a few years ago in New Hartford, when the city and village courts merged to congregate and consolidate with other municipal offices in the new New Hartford City Hall in the old Gander Mountain building at The Orchards.

The two courts merged in April 2018, a move officials say would save the Village of New Hartford $10,000 a year.

New Hartford had been looking for several years for a space to consolidate its municipal offices – The city was paying the village for the use of its offices. The new City Hall opened towards the end of 2018, with departments consolidated within it over the following year.

All city services were brought under one roof during the move, except for the city’s highway service trucks, which remained at their location on New Hartford Street.

New Hartford City Supervisor Paul Miscione, who led the city during the recent consolidation, said the city realized massive savings by combining the two court systems and bringing all city offices under one. roof.

Miscione said the city saves between $100,000 and $150,000 a year.

“It fits very well with our utility costs,” Miscione said, adding that the consolidation also saved on payroll and cleared up confusion among residents about which court they should go to.

Ed Harris is the Oneida County reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. Email Ed Harris at [email protected]

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