Following a meeting at the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) Legislative Conference, county executives from around the state called on Governor Hochul and members of the State Assembly and Senate to end the practice of diverting local sales taxes out of local communities and into state coffers.
Since 2019, New York State has been diverting local sales taxes that should go to local programs and services and has been redirecting them to pay for state responsibilities -– first to cover the costs of the AIM program for towns, and villages; and second to fund a state pool for distressed health care facilities.
County executives are asking the state to ensure the final state budget agreement includes language that ends the practice which has diverted more than $677 million in local sales taxes away from local communities and into the state's general fund—equivalent to $618,000 per day over the last three years.
“Local tax revenue should stay in the community where it is collected,” said Marc Molinaro, President of the New York State County Executives Association. “This is money that is meant to support local parks, community colleges, meals for seniors, day care services, 9-1-1 programs, and mental health and addiction services, not footing the bill for state and federal responsibilities.”
“Today, the elected leaders of local governments around the state came together to deliver a simple message to Albany: Keep local taxes local,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. “It's time to get our state back to normal, and that means returning to responsible budgeting that keeps local tax revenue in local communities.”
Acquario noted that counties were grateful to Governor Hochul for eliminating the diversion of local sales taxes to support the state Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) program from her Executive Budget proposal and hopeful it will stay out of the final budget. Now, Acquario said, counties are requesting that the remaining diversion be allowed to sunset on March 31st of this year, as originally proposed in 2020.
To learn more about county priorities for the SFY 2023 State Budget, visit nysac.org/nysbudget
Media Contact: Mark LaVigne | MLavigne@nysac.org | 518-465-1473 x206