NYSAC Details State Budget Priorities
Mandate Relief and Targeted Infrastructure Funding Top County Lists
The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) and its member county leaders have identified a series of 2016-17 State Budget priorities that will provide property tax relief and improve the delivery of critical programs and services at that local level.
County leaders are encouraging state lawmakers to fight for:
1. A takeover of county indigent defense costs
2. Increased community college funding
3. Lowering and expanding the E 9-1-1 surcharge
4. Targeting bank settlement funds for upstate road and water infrastructure projects
5. E-Waste Grants
6. Clean Water Infrastructure
"County officials from across the state have been communicating concerns to their state legislators. A projected property tax cap growth at basically zero in 2017, combined with stagnant sales tax revenues, counties will not be able keep up with the rising costs of state mandated programs provided at the local level. We need State Lawmakers to assist their local taxpayers and provide mandate relief, and dedicate bank settlement funds to local roads and water projects," said NYSAC President Bill Cherry, Schoharie County Treasurer.
The State Senate and Assembly are working this week on developing priority initiatives for their one-house budget measures expected to be released next week.
"Items not in the Governor's proposed Executive Budget have to be added at this point in the budget process," said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. "Local officials are elected to serve their local community, not to just serve the state's programs. We have to strike a balance so that community-based needs, like providing E-911 to protect our citizens, can be adequately provided. County officials will continue the call for mandate relief to alleviate the burden on the local taxpayers. A multi-year phased in state takeover of indigent legal defense service costs would provide that mandate relief and improve the quality of the program across the state."
Last year, nine state mandates consumed 99 percent of the county property taxes levied statewide, outside of New York City.
"When State Lawmakers enacted a property tax cap in 2011, they said that mandate relief would follow. They capped Medicaid and reformed the pension system, but they did nothing to lower mandated base costs for local taxpayers. This year, we need mandate relief and support for our aging infrastructure and 9-1-1 communication services," said Cherry.
The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State. Organized in 1925, NYSAC's mission is to represent, educate and advocate for member counties. www.nysac.org