Municipal leaders voice concerns over cut in state funding

AIM cuts could cost local governments thousands

Mike Baggerman
January 25, 2019 - 1:47 pm

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Governor Andrew Cuomo's office is proposing a cut to key funding for local municipalities.

The cuts to the Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding was part of the governor's 30-day budget amendments. Several area municipal leaders were joined by State Senator Chris Jacobs on Friday to voice their concerns over the governor's proposal.

"Eliminating the state aid AIM funding is a bipartisan issue," Town of Orchard Park Supervisor Patrick Keem said while noting that municipalities are restricted by a two percent tax cap but burdened by mandates by Albany. "The elimination of Orchard Park's AIM funding represents (0.8%) of one's taxes to make up for the cuts. To remain at the two percent tax cap, we'd be limited to $180,000 increases in spending."

Keem said the town would have to consider cutting services and planned playground upgrades. 

"Governor Cuomo, what do you suggest I cut from the services our residents need and deserve?" Keem asked. "Police protection? Infrastructure repairs? Programs for our youth? Vital programs for our seniors?"

The governor's office previously told the Democrat & Chronicle that AIM would only affect municipalities where the funding isn't a key component in the overall budget, though it does affect most municipalities across the state. It said the local governments could receive additional money thanks to the closure of an internet loophole which would make major companies like Amazon pay sales tax to local communities. 

"Why is that tied to AIM funding?" Town of Evans Supervisor Mary Hosler asked. "If we have an additional revenue source, that's actually a plus to towns and villages. I'm not sure why he's tying one to the other."

State Senator Chris Jacobs wrote a letter to the governor asking him to restore the cuts to AIM funding. 

 

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