To merge or not to merge: Breaking down a community’s debate on consolidation

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff.

Joseph Stefko

Over the years, CGR has provided analytical guidance to countless communities exploring the issue of municipal consolidation.  Of all the things that make those communities unique – their density, services, cost structure, geography and more – one aspect of the merger discussion has been omnipresent: The potential benefits or drawbacks of consolidation are very much in the eye of the beholder.

Some residents – perhaps most – focus on the dollars and cents: “What impact would consolidation have on my property taxes and, by extension, my wallet?”  This is clearly understandable, especially given the current economic and fiscal environment in places like NY, NJ, OH and MA where CGR has completed such studies. Read more »

Consolidating Governments Is About More Than Just Saving Money

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Democrat & Chronicles.

Charles ZettekConsolidating local governments in New York is a hot topic across the state.  Proponents maintain consolidation is a way to make local governments more efficient and less costly.  Opponents argue that services will be cut, local representation will be lost, and savings will be minimal at best.  Every week, I receive calls from local government officials across upstate  asking what is involved in studying how to share or consolidate services.  Almost invariably, the caller starts out by saying, “I’m not necessarily in favor of dissolving or consolidating, but I feel it is my responsibility to the taxpayers to look at every avenue to reduce our local taxes.”

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