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City and Town of Kirkwood Shared Services Agreement

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Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David and Kirkwood Town Supervisor Gordon E. Kniffen today announced a shared service agreement for assessment operations, saving $25,000 in local tax dollars each year.

The City’s Assessment Department will prepare the Town of Kirkwood’s real estate valuations for tax assessing purposes. In turn, the City will receive a $33,000 annual payment to cover increased personnel costs. The agreement will save the City of Binghamton $15,000 and save Kirkwood $10,000.

“We constantly look to streamline operations and explore shared services to save taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor David. “While these initial savings are small, it opens the door for additional opportunities in consolidated operations. It’s a model that can be replicated easily in other areas. I thank Supervisor Kniffen for collaborating on this initiative.”

“Kirkwood appreciates the City being our partner in this endeavor, which results in reducing costs and improving services for our people,” said Supervisor Kniffen. “We support other municipalities in their efforts to do so as well. As we have worked with the City, we look forward to working with each of them.”

The City of Binghamton contains 15,892 real property parcels. The Town of Kirkwood has 2,869.

In the coming months, City officials will explore similar assessment shared service agreements with other interested municipalities.

The assessment shared service agreement is the latest in a series of government efficiency projects initiated under the David Administration.

In 2015, the City partnered with Broome County on an IT shared service program, consolidating e-mail servers and savings tens of thousands of dollars in annual maintenance. Pilot projects are currently underway to join Broome County’s electronic document management system and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system, streamlining telecommunications infrastructure for additional cost savings.

Government efficiency and shared service projects have been a state government focus since the introduction of the property tax cap for local municipalities in 2011. Local governments must demonstrate shared service programs — in addition to compliance with the tax levy cap — in order for local homeowners to receive a Property Tax Freeze Credit.