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Sharing is caring — about taxes

COURTESY PHOTO  Governor Andrew Cuomo

COURTESY PHOTO Governor Andrew Cuomo

At its Tuesday work session, the Town Board began responding to a state mandate on sharing services with neighboring municipalities to lower property taxes.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty said he had asked all heads of town departments to present recommendations to him so the board could discuss them, and asked his colleagues to present ideas on finding ways to share services.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the chief executives of New York counties to in turn direct mayors or supervisors to, according to the governors office, develop a “tax savings plan,” that will “identify, propose and implement new actions to save taxpayers money though shared , coordinated and more efficient services between local governments within the county.”

Suffolk County has given local municipalities a deadline of August 1 to come up with plans.

In a brief brainstorming session, Councilman Jim Colligan mentioned pump out stations servicing boats’ waste material “which also means less likelihood that there will be flushing out [waste] into our bays and creeks,” and also sharing GPS services with other towns to locate moorings.

Councilman Paul Shepherd mentioned sharing “rental tracking software,” with other towns that have short-term rental regulations.

There was a discussion on sharing services with the school district, but the members weren’t sure if that was allowed by the governor’s directive, and Mr. Shepherd said the board would seek clarity on the issue.

The board will have further discussion on the issue.

Near the end of the meeting, Kathleen O’Neill asked if residents who can no longer drive be allowed beach passes for their vehicle. Ms. O’Neill said she was 95 and her vision “is not good” so she no longer drives. But she goes to the beach with her son, who has a car registered n New Jersey.

“I’m not the only person over 90 on Shelter Island,” Ms. O’Neill said. “Some rules should be changed.”

The board was in agreement. Mr. Dougherty suggested an amendment be included in the law that people presenting a medical document will allow a family member to receive a pass.