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Possible tax relief for N.Y. homeowners

Rochester, N.Y. - Governor Cuomo has proposed rebates in towns that stay under the two-percent tax cap and combine resources for two years.

But before you count on that check, community leaders are still waiting for the specifics of the governor's plan.

It's something we do on a regular basis, said Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle. We have a snow plow agreement with the town of Pittsford, we have various highway agreements both with the county and with the state of New York, we have a number of agreements with the city of Rochester, including for fire service in West Brighton - those are just some examples.

News of the added incentive could put an average of 350 dollars in homeowners wallets, but its not a guarantee.

It isn't something we're doing for the first time so that does make it tougher, said Moehle. We havent seen all the details of the Governors plan, but I hope our work to date is give recognition and I also hope to continue to have the opportunity to be creative as we do work in cooperation with other municipalities. Those shared service agreements and municipal agreements also save the tax payers money and are often preferable to an outright merger or consolidation.

Penfield has been combining resources for years, according to Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain. But after losing a state grant to do just that with the school district last year, he's not convinced by this proposal.

I find it kind of interesting that in his proposal now that this is top on his priority list, said LaFountain, So we'll continue to look and we'll look for opportunities.

The tax cap is something municipalities will also have to work to stay under.

You have to look for ways to address those costs that are coming down faster than 2 percent, said LaFountain.

Working with other municipalities is one way to do that.

I think this region does it better than other counties across the state, and I think that is because of the makeup, we have the working relationships that we have between the county, towns and villages, said LaFountain.

In the proposal municipalities have to stay within the two-percent tax cap for two years while also proving they're combining resources.

This tax relief proposal could have an average benefit of approximately 350 dollars for nearly 2.8 million homeowners.

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Washington Times