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NY Municipal Groups Knock Plan Intended To Assist Communities Affected By Proposed AIM Cuts

NYS Capitol building in Albany

After leaders from New York communities gathered at the state capitol earlier this week to oppose proposed cuts to state aid for municipalities, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a change intended to assist local governments. 

The New York Conference of Mayors spoke out against a proposed $59 million cut to the so-called AIM funding in the governor’s executive budget on Monday.

Included in his 30-day budget amendments released Friday, Cuomo said he would “direct counties to use additional sales tax revenue from the elimination of the internet tax advantage to keep towns and villages whole following the AIM reduction to less-reliant municipalities.”

Internet sales tax requirements would also be moved to begin June 1st, three months earlier than originally proposed.

NYCOM executive director Peter Baynes called the move a “shell game.” He said in a statement, “Imposing a new mandate on counties to make up for the state's cut to villages and towns will only further harm New York’s already overburdened property taxpayers.”

The New York State Association of Counties was also critical of the plan.

“Forcing counties to use a portion of their Internet sales tax revenue to reimburse our municipal partners does not help the state reduce property taxes or help to offset the costs of services to our residents,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.

The executive budget revisions come as Cuomo deals with a $2.6 billion dollar revenue reduction he blames on the 2017 federal tax overhaul.

"As Washington continues their economic civil war by restructuring the economy to benefit red states, we are taking action to maintain a strong Financial Plan and safeguard New York's fiscal integrity,” said Cuomo.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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