The New York Department of State announced last week that Tioga County will receive $1,181,335 in state matching funds as a result of taxpayer savings achieved in 2022. The funding is provided through the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative, which provides a one-time state match of county and local government taxpayer savings achieved in the first year of implementation of new, shared services projects.
“The County-Wide Shared Services Initiative incentivizes our partners in local government to work together to find operational efficiencies that generate taxpayer savings,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “Tioga County is the latest example of how this program works to deliver real results for New Yorkers, and we look forward to seeing the future cost savings that will be generated from these shared services projects.”
As part of the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative (CWSSI), Tioga County created a Shared Services Plan that identified ways to consolidate services and save taxpayer money through government efficiencies in services and community programs.
The shared services projects that were implemented as part of this plan and achieved taxpayer savings are as follows:
Broome County Purchasing Alliance Medicare Advantage Plan – $803,048.55 CWSSI Award
Tioga County partnered with Broome County to participate in the Broome County Purchasing Alliance Medicare Advantage Plan (BCPA). BCPA acts as a purchasing agent and pools purchasing power through collaboration with other counties, towns, villages, cities, school districts and other eligible governmental entities throughout New York State. This partnership allows the county to reduce costs associated with providing retiree health insurance to employees who meet certain service requirements, while also bringing quality, comprehensive benefits coverage. Tioga County achieved $803,048.55 in taxpayer savings in 2022 as a result of this partnership.
NYS Pharmacy Purchasing Coalition – $378,287 CWSSI Award
The Owego-Apalachin School District partnered with Capital Region BOCES to join the NYS Pharmacy Purchasing Coalition. This partnership allows the school district to receive group purchasing discounts on pharmacy benefits, reducing spending associated with administering employee benefit plans, while also reducing prescription drug costs for employees. The Owego-Apalachin School District achieved $378,287 in taxpayer savings in 2022 as a result of this shared service.
In addition to Tioga County, three other counties have partnered with Capital Region BOCES to join the NYS Pharmacy Purchasing Coalition as part of the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative: Broome County achieved $3,130,576 in taxpayer savings in 2017; Livingston County achieved $219,618 in taxpayer savings in 2019; and Genesee County achieved $841,581 in taxpayer savings in 2020.
Senator Tom O’Mara stated, “This is fantastic news for Tioga County taxpayers and a valuable return on the ongoing efforts of Tioga County to remain focused on the efficiency and effectiveness of shared services. It’s great work by local leaders and sets a standard for future savings as well as an example for other localities of the enormous benefits of a shared services program.”
Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend echoed this, stating, “Congratulations are in order for the individuals who planned and implemented the shared services savings for Tioga County and the Owego Apalachin School District. Their efforts saved local taxpayers hard earned money and reaped the matching rewards of the CWSSI.”
Martha Sauerbrey, chair of the Tioga County Legislature said that Tioga County was fortunate to be able to join the Broome County Purchasing Alliance Medicare Advantage Plan for a considerable savings.
Sauerbrey stated, “Our Benefits Manager did a thorough examination of the program and found it to not only be a significant savings to the county but also an excellent plan for our retirees. We are extremely grateful that the Shared Services Program will bring matching funds which translates to savings for our taxpayers.”
The County-Wide Shared Service Initiative (CWSSI) program generates property tax savings by facilitating collaboration between local governments across the state. New York State has matched over $40 million in one-year savings to local governments and taxpayers from over 100 shared services projects over the last five years. CWSSI expands on New York State’s ongoing commitment to reduce property taxes and modernize local government services by fostering new, shared services and enhancing the existing collaborations already in place.
Guidance documents regarding the CWSSI and state match application process, as well as past CWSSI plans, are available online at https://www.ny.gov/programs/shared-services-initiative.
The County-Wide Services Initiative is administered by the Division of Local Government Services at the Department of State. The Division provides technical assistance, competitive grants and non-competitive grants to local governments. For more information on CWSSI or any programs administered by the Division, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 473-3355.