State Budget on Track to Spend More Local Revenues
State Commandeering Local Property and Sales Taxes.
Last year, counties and New York City sent more than $12 billion to Albany to fund state mandated programs and services. So far, the State Budget being negotiated by the Governor and Legislative Leaders is poised to spend an additional $200 million in local tax dollars each year.
"County officials are doing everything we can to control local spending. We have reduced our workforce, implemented enhanced shared service programs, consolidated departments and programs, and cut services. However, we cannot achieve any success with continued state interference in local home rule affairs. The Governor's proposed cost shifts, mandates, and cuts will actually consume more than any anticipated new sales tax revenue. It's a shell game and business as usual," said Charles H. Nesbitt, Jr., NYSAC President.
In fact, on a statewide basis, there are more than $200 million in new costs for counties being considered in this state budget. And the bulk of those costs come from a requirement that counties cover a $60 million cut in the State's Assistance and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) program. Other new mandates include early voting, cashless bail, and a new lead monitoring program.
"Using local revenues to pay for state programs is the reason New Yorkers suffer from the highest property tax burden in the country. The state takes local tax dollars and uses them at the state level. These are state property taxes, not county property taxes," said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. "And unfortunately, this will only become worse if lawmakers do not reverse the proposed new mandates, cost shifts and program expansions being proposed in this budget."