Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week that abolishes the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency, which was created in the 1970s. GOP Sen. Greg Ball of Patterson and Assemblyman Robert Castelli, R-Goldens Bridge, described the public authority as “moribund” and an “unnecessary layer of bureaucracy which has stymied local development … by forcing the Village Board to act as the Agency, and perform a duplicative function to the Planning Board.”
Eliminating the Mount Kisco authority will speed up the process for approving new businesses in the village and save local taxpayers money, Ball and Castelli said in a statement.
“This is exactly the red tape that stifles small businesses and job creation in New York State,” Ball said. “This law is a step in the right direction to eliminate wasteful government spending and to help streamline job creating projects in the Village of Mount Kisco and the Hudson Valley area.”
Mount Kisco Mayor J. Michael Cindrich said the Mount Kisco authority was an “unfunded mandate which has outlived its intended purpose.”
The state adopted the Public Authorities Reform Act in 2009 to crack down on the expansion of state and local quasi-public agencies and make them more accountable to the public. State authorities issued $14 billion in debt last year and have $141.9 billion in outstanding debt, according to a report last month from the Authorities Budget Office. Local authorities issued $14.5 billion in debt last year and have $91.4 billion outstanding.
“There are 113 other inactive or partially defunct public authorities like the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency still on the books, some of which even have the authority to hire staff, bond, and borrow money,” Castelli said. “We have taken an important first step today, but more needs to be done to rein in these out-of-control public authorities.”