County Perspective for April 30

State and Federal updates, resources for county leaders, and more.

NYSAC Update
2018 County Finance School - This week!
The 52nd Annual County Finance School
May 2-4 , 2018
Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel, Syracuse NY (Onondaga County)
Visit for the full agenda and registration.

Sponsored by: 
New York State Association of Counties
Office of the State Comptroller
NYS Treasurer and Finance Officers Association
County Clicks
We're always keeping an eye out for interesting articles, reports, podcasts, and videos to share with our county members. In County Clicks we round up those links and share them on the NYSAC blog.   

Click here to read this week's roundup of links for NY's county leaders.

NYSAC Report: Federal, State, and Local Taxes in NYS 
NYSAC has released a new report to provide a contextual reference and foundation for better understanding the recently enacted federal and state tax law changes. The United States, the State of New York, and our local government taxing jurisdictions rely on three primary forms of revenue: income, property, and sales taxes. Understanding
how those taxes are levied is critical to informed discussions about the State and Local Tax Deduction, changes to the state's income tax laws, closing the Internet sales tax loophole, and trying to find ways to reduce New York State's reliance on property taxes to pay its bills at the state level.

Read the full report here.

All of NYSAC's reports and resources on taxation can be found at

State Update

Legislative Update

The Legislature is scheduled to convene today through May 2nd. There are only 23 days left of the 2018 Legislative Session, which is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, June 20th. As the end of session approaches, Assembly Speaker Heastie has outlined some items that will be a priority for the Assembly, including a criminal justice reform package, eliminating the link between standardized testing results and teacher evaluations, and the Child Victims Act. The Senate has not yet identified the key items they intend to work on prior to the close of the session.
NYSAC continues to advocate for counties to ensure new programs place no additional financial burdens on county property taxpayers. NYSAC's complete legislative platform for 2018, indicating session priorities by issue area, can be found at:
New York State 2018 Special Election
On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, New York State held a special election for 9 open Assembly seats and 2 open Senate seats.
The two new senators include:
  • Senator Luis Sepulveda, Democrat representing the Bronx
  • Senator Shelley Mayer, Democrat representing Westchester County
The nine new assembly members include:
  • Assemblyman Doug Smith, Republican representing Suffolk County 
  • Assemblyman Steve Stern, Democrat representing Suffolk County
  • Assemblyman John Mikulin, Republican representing Nassau County
  • Assemblywoman Ari Espinal, Democrat representing Queens
  • Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, Democrat representing New York
  • Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez Democrat representing the Bronx
  • Assemblyman Chris Tague, Republican representing Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie and Ulster
  • Assemblyman Jacob Ashby, Republican representing Columbia, Rensselaer, and Washington County
  • Assemblyman Erik Bohen, Republican representing Erie County
Round III of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Governor Cuomo announced last week that the State will be accepting applications for the third round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) awards until June 1, 2018. One community in each of the ten Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) zones will be selected by the REDC to receive a $10 million investment in downtown neighborhoods.
The Governor's press release outlines eight criteria that the REDCs will consider. The Councils look for recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to, the downtown that can attract workers, support redevelopment, and make growth sustainable. The criteria also outline that the municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development. Applicants should identify transformative projects that will be ready for implementation with an infusion of DRI funds within the first one to two years.
The following 20 communities have already been awarded $10 million through the prior two DRI rounds:
Capital Region
City of Glens Falls
City of Hudson
Central NY
City of Oswego
City of Cortland
Finger Lakes
City of Geneva
City of Batavia
Long Island
Village of Westbury
Hicksville (Town of Oyster Bay)
City of Middletown
City of Kingston
Mohawk Valley
City of Oneonta
City of Rome
New York City
Jamaica, Queens
Bronx Civic Center
North Country
City of Plattsburgh
City of Watertown
Southern Tier
City of Elmira
Village Watkins Glen
Western NY  
City of Jamestown
City of Olean
The DRI is chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. The Initiative is also supported Empire State Development and NYS Homes and Community Renewal. Find the application for the third round of awards at

County Update

Employee Wage History

On April 16, 2018 Westchester County passed a local law banning employers, labor organization, employment agencies or licensing agencies within the county from asking the salary history of any new potential employee. This ban includes any oral or written requests as a condition of interview or condition of hire. A potential employee may still opt to offer and provide their salary history to the hiring employer as long as it is their (potential employee's) choice and not by request of the employer.  This local law adds that if pending Statewide legislation on this issue passes, the State's law would preempt the county local law.

Both the pending State bill as well as this local law are seeking to protect groups of potential employees that have historically lower salary rates from their salary disparity being used against them in future job applications. 
To read the local law in its entirety, click here. 

Federal Update

NACo: Key wins for counties as House passes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill -
On April 27, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, 393- 13. The bill would reauthorize the FAA through FY 2023 and contains several NACo-supported victories for counties, including:
  • An amendment from Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Amendment No. 112, which would discontinue the authorization and funding for the Essential Air Service (EAS), was voted down and the amendment was not added to the bill. This a success for rural counties relying on federal assistance to provide continued travel options to county residents. Recognizing the importance of the EAS program, NACo signed onto a letter opposing this amendment and emphasizing the importance of EAS to rural counties. In addition to an increase for funding for the EAS program, the bill also includes funding for Airport Improvement Program grants (AIP Grants). 
  • The Lewis Amendment (No. 28), passed by a voice vote and added to the bill, would codify the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Integration Pilot Program (IPP), giving local governments the ability to partner with private sector entities to properly integrate low-altitude UAS operations in federal pilot programs. NACo recently sent a letter expressing county concerns related to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), including the operation of and the establishment of IPPs. The letter also addressed a provision in the bill that could result in a possible pre-emption of local government authority regarding the operation of UAS.
Following passage in the House, the bill moves to the U.S. Senate. Majority leadership on the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hopes to pass its own bill in the upcoming months, which would authorize the FAA through FY 2021 (two years shorter than the House bill) and would not include the disaster title. If the Senate passes an altered version of the legislation, the two chambers would either enter a conference committee, which would bring lawmakers from each chamber together to resolve differences between the bills, or the House could accept the Senate's version of the bill. Lawmakers hope to complete a final reauthorization before Congress recesses at the end of July. The current FAA extension is set to expire on September 30, 2018.
Counties play a critical role in the nation's air transportation system and own 34 percent of the nation's publicly-owned airports. NACo will continue advocating for county priorities as the Senate considers the FAA Reauthorization bill to ensure county priorities are maintained and the needs of counties and their residents are reflected.
To read NACo's blog post on the release of the FAA bill, click here
To read the letter opposing the McClintock Amendment, click here
To read the letter on two FAA amendments involving UAS policy, click here

Training Opportunities

NYS Redevelopment Summit: Keys to Successful Brownfield Redevelopment in 2018 and Beyond 
June 13-14th, 2018 
The Armory at Sage College of Albany 
Join friends and colleagues at the Center for Creative Land Recycling's NYS Redevelopment Summit: Keys to Successful Brownfield Redevelopment in 2018 and Beyond on June 13th/14th in Albany. This one-of-a kind event will bring together leading public and private practitioners in the redevelopment field.

CONNECT with practitioners and experts at technical sessions and panels, Office Consultation Hours, our Exhibitor Expo and Networking Reception. Click here to see dozens event partners and sponsors who you will meet at the Summit. 
LEARN from experts how federal and state policy and regulatory changes, shifts in funding and programs and market trends impact your projects. Trending topics include the BUILD Act, Opportunity Zones, DEC's 375 Solid Waste Regulations, Brownfield Opportunity Area and Cleanup Programs.  You'll hear case studies on successful revitalization collaborations and community engagement best practices. 
MAKE DEALS by perfecting your marketing pitch/presentation & connecting with developers/investors.

Learn more about the Summit's panels and speakers, our Marketing Pitch Competition, logistics, and scholarships. Register now at For more information contact Jean Hamerman at

NY to Hold 21st Annual Cyber Security Conference
From June 5-7, 2018, New York State will host a cyber security conference in Albany. The conference offers something for everyone--whether you're a technology user, IT professional, government employee, or business owner. Leading experts in the industry will offer sessions that provide real-world information you can apply immediately in minimizing the cyber risks in your own environment.

NYSAC Programs & Services

Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance (MEGA)
MEGA is a county-created organization established to help local governments save taxpayer dollars by buying electric and gas in bulk on the utility market. Click here to learn more.
The County Marketplace
The County Marketplace features our Excelsior and Associate Partners. These companies offer private sector solutions to the governing, management and information challenges facing New York's counties.

To become an Associate Partner, click here
To become an Excelsior Partner, click here
Browse the County Marketplace here.