The New York State Senate and Assembly showed a strong likelihood to back Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to cut $60 million in funding for Aid and Incentives to Municipalities or AIM.
It’s a state program that provides unrestricted general purpose financial aid to cities, towns and villages across the state.
Out of the $715 million AIM budgets throughout the state, about $3 million are enacted to cities, villages and towns across Steuben County for the 2019 fiscal year.
Gov. Cuomo initially wanted to dip into internet sales tax revenues, which typically goes to county governments, to fund the program.
Steuben County Manager, Jack Wheeler, said the governor is now shifting the state burden to local municipalities.
“What that would do is set a horrible precedent in the state that counties would have to use their sales tax dollars to fund a state obligation to local municipalities,“ Wheeler said.
Steuben County, in particular, will be looking at a $250,000 cut from certain towns and villages.
It will range from a couple of thousand dollars from smaller municipalities to over $100,000 from larger areas, like Bath.
“He has to find money, and he’s balancing his budget on the back of local taxpayers,“ Wheeler said. “It is incredible, I mean, I can’t believe that it’s even a proposal that would happen.“
Wheeler said taking away from the county’s sales tax will put a lot more pressure on property tax burdens as well as county services.
On March 21, the State Senate and Assembly said they may agree with the governor and allow this to go through.
Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss also discusses the impact on Chemung County in the video above.