A Statement by NYSAC President William E. Cherry in Response to Home Rule Inaction
The consequences of continued inaction on these measures, and the resulting dramatic and crippling increases in local property taxes, will fall squarely on the members of the State Legislature.
It is unfortunate that the State Senate and State Assembly adjourned the 2017 Legislative Session without passing critically important home rule requests for sales tax extenders and mayoral control of NYC schools.
We acknowledge the nature of today's political environment that is focused on leveraging powerful interests against each other, but the consequences of this inaction reveal the State's lack of understanding of how other levels of government operate in New York, and is an affront to the State Constitutional Home Rule authority intended to protect the unique needs of our communities.
The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) encourages members of the State Assembly and Senate to insist that their leadership return to the Capitol to pass the home rule requests of the locally-elected leaders governing their communities.
While the State Legislature's inaction on these measures injects real uncertainty into the county budget adoption process, I will be encouraging county budget officers to prepare county budgets that assume positive action on these measures and the $1.8 billion in sales tax revenues that it means for local governments in 2018. Prolonged inaction by the State will inject grave uncertainty in the budget-making process for counties and their property taxpayers across the state.
Individual members of the State Senate and Assembly have indicated to county leaders that they will be returning to Albany this summer or fall to pass the home rule sales tax extenders and other home rule requests submitted by 53 of the 57 counties. We will be counting on them to keep to their word. The consequences of continued inaction on these measures, and the resulting dramatic and crippling increases in local property taxes, will fall squarely on the members of the State Legislature.
In the absence of a State level compromise between now and early fall, local leaders will be forced to raise property taxes, cut programs, and eliminate services to close the gap in revenue. Combating the opioid crisis, reforming public defense services, raising the age, maintaining local infrastructure, and providing Meals on Wheels to seniors are among the many local programs that will impacted by the State's inaction.
The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC's mission is to represent, educate, advocate for, and serve member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.
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