Clarkstown is applying for a grant from the New York State Department of State to help fund the consolidation of the Office of the Receiver of Taxes with the Town Clerk’s office. As part of the grant application, the town committed that it would spend at least $15,000 on the merger. The town’s application for the 2012-2013 Local Government Efficiency Grant Program is due next week.
The consolidation of the two departments is the result of a referendum passed by voters in November 2011 referendum by more than 75 percent. It is being phased in and will take effect on January 1, 2014. Town officials expect the merger to save between $400,000 and $450,000 annually.
“It’s all salary savings,” said Supervisor Alex Gromack, adding that there will be savings of benefit costs also.
The savings will come from the fulltime salaries of the town tax receiver, who earns $119,438, deputy town tax receiver, who is paid $96,216, and a senior clerk typist who earns $59,650. Two part-time seasonal employees earn hourly wages of $18.98 and $17.16.
Some of the savings have already been realized with the elimination of the deputy town clerk post and the reduction of the town clerk’s salary after David Carlucci left the position to join the State Senate. Town Clerk Justin Sweet is paid $72,828. That office has four other fulltime employees.
Gromack described the expenses to complete the consolidation as minimal. They include software to automate the collection system, possible addition of a separate window in the town clerk’s office for tax payments and training and cross-training employees for added responsibilities.
The consolidation began last year with the start of cross-training employees and meetings among departments.
“We’ve had a number of in-house meetings between the town clerk and receiver and my staff,” Gromack said.
He said the two staffs will work closely together when school tax payments are made later this year. He said Tax Receiver Loretta Raimone is working on a “go to” book to provide information about different processes and issues that may arise after the consolidation.