County objects to governor’s plan for AIM funding

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 March 2019 at 12:17 pm

Cuomo wants to take county sales tax to cover village, town aid

ALBION – Orleans County legislators are objecting to a proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to have the state share for local AIM funding to come from the sales tax on internet transactions.

The governor in his budget proposal proposed cutting $290,276 in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities in Orleans County. That includes eight towns and four villages. State-wide, the governor wanted to reduce AIM funding by $59 million.

But villages and towns strongly objected to cuts, which would happen while the villages and towns are already in their fiscal years, and weren’t given notice during their budget discussions.

The state doesn’t given much in AIM to villages and towns, and Cuomo picked towns and villages for cuts where AIM is less than 2 percent of their budgets. The towns of Murray and Albion weren’t affected in the governor’s proposal because those 2 coutn on Aim for more than 2 percent of their budgets.

After an outcry from towns and villages, Cuomo last month put the AIM funding back in the budget. However, it wouldn’t be paid for by the state. The governor wants to use sales tax from internet sales, which currently often skirt the sales tax. The tax would be taken from the counties’ local share and be directed to the AIM program.

That has prompted strong opposition from county leaders across the state. Orleans County leaders said the proposal is contrary to the state acting as a good partner with local governments, and amounts to another unfunded mandate on counties.

Counties already use a lot of their sales tax to pay for state-mandated programs, such as Medicaid, Orleans County legislators said in an official resolution.

“Requiring counties to make up for the state’s cut in AIM funding to villages and towns sets an unsustainable precedent and unnecessarily shifts the state’s burden to local taxpayers who already pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation,” the resolution states.

The Legislature said the state should fully restore the AIM cuts from state funding, not from the county sales tax.

These municipalities are slated to lose the following in AIM funding:

Villages: Albion, $38,811; Holley, $17,786; Lyndonville, $6,251; and Medina, $45,523.

Towns: Barre, $12,486; Carlton, $13,680; Clarendon, $11,416; Gaines, $21,323; Kendall, $21,299; Shelby, $45,007; Ridgeway, $46,273; and Yates, $10,421.

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