Cost savings from Cuomo consolidation plan? Probably not

Monday, Jan. 27, 2013

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget includes a plan to reduce property taxes and save money by encouraging consolidation of local governments. Mildred E. Warner, an expert on local government restructuring and Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, says that consolidation has its inherent benefits, but cost savings isn’t one of them.

Warner says:

 “Will the governor’s proposal of local government consolidation result in cost savings?  Research suggests maybe not.

“Cost savings from consolidation depends on economies of scale and level of professionalism.  A 21st Century local government system may need to be at a larger scale than in the 19th Century.  But with consolidation comes the need for greater professionalization, which is more costly.  Effectiveness must be balanced against cost savings and local voice.”