Association of Counties backs governor’s call for significant federal aid

Posted 20 January 2021 at 9:21 am

Press Release, New York Association of Counties

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday outlined the 2021-22 New York State Executive Budget, which calls on Washington to deliver state and local aid.

Counties have pledged to continue working with the Governor, State Lawmakers, and our NYS Congressional Delegation to urge Washington to provide federal funds for states and local governments. Without this aid, the Governor said he will be forced to make dramatic cuts, which would impact county budgets, place new burdens on local taxpayers, and jeopardize county health and human service programs for the New Yorkers most in need.

Included in the budget presentation materials supplied by the Division of Budget were several key proposals that counties proposed in November, including:

  • Making local sales tax authority permanent and allowing all counties to go to 4% percent
  • Collecting of local sales tax on recreational cannabis transactions
  • Reducing in the state’s withholding of local aid – contingent upon the amount of federal aid
  • Reducing the judgement interest rates to the market interest rate.
  • Extending the authority to piggyback on contracts for 2 years
  • Allowing shared jails between contiguous counties
  • Providing flexibility in jail staffing
  • Reforming Early Intervention to provide savings and greater flexibility
  • Expanding investment options for local governments

NYSAC will provide more details from the proposed spending plan as they become available.

“While this state budget proposal includes plenty of unknowns, especially whether the federal government will provide state and local Covid response funding, we are optimistic that our county leaders can work with state lawmakers to finalize a budget that strengthens our communities and help rebuild our local economies,” said NYSAC President Jack Marren, who is chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. “Our staff of legislative experts at NYSAC will be looking through the budget bills as they become available, and they will report on areas of direct and indirect impact on counties.”

“This state budget depends of federal funding from Congress and the new administration,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “Counties, too, have made the case for the over $2 billion in lost county revenues during this Covid-19 pandemic. We are confident that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and New York’s congressional delegation understand the challenges facing our local governments, and they will work in Washington to ensure the passage of a federal stimulus packages that helps states and local governments as we fight to win this war against Covid.”