Credit unions could provide cost-free mandate relief

Governor Cuomo traveled to God’s Country yesterday, aka Long Island, to highlight his push to require county executives and local municipal leaders to jointly develop a package of cost-saving measures that would be put before local voters in November. The hope is to spur innovative ideas to reduce property taxes, which in places like Long Island, are making it impossible for the middle class to live and start a family. You won’t find a politician who is against mandate relief in concept.

As luck would have it, I have a simple proposal that would save taxpayer money without decreasing local budgets or making the state Legislature pay more cost: Give localities in NYS the option of placing municipal deposits in credit unions. Doing so has the potential to accomplish real savings for taxpayers while insuring that localities maximize funds available for public services.

Town boards, school districts and other such government entities have an obligation to spend taxpayer money in the most efficient way possible. Unfortunately, these same entities aren’t allowed to deposit public funds in credit unions, even if a credit union could offer a better rate of return on taxpayer funds. That’s right; New York’s law has the effect of prohibiting local leaders from getting the most bang for their buck.

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