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Local officials testify to restore AIM funding after Cuomo’s proposed cut leaves many reeling

Restore the funding.

With local officials from across New York State at the Capitol today testifying before the state Legislature’s fiscal committees on the impact of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2019-2020 proposed state budget, Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) urged Cuomo and legislative leaders to restore a proposed cut to critical state funding for area municipalities.

In his 2019-20 proposed Executive Budget released last month, Cuomo calls for the elimination of Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding for most of the towns and villages across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide. AIM is the largest single source of state revenue sharing for these localities.

O’Mara said, “Governor Cuomo’s surprising and unexpected proposal to eliminate state revenue sharing for towns and villages puts our local governments and local property taxpayers at risk. The state’s new Democratic legislative leaders should immediately reject and promise to restore this Cuomo cut. Senate Republicans will continue to stand up and speak out for our municipalities and local taxpayers. We will continue to oppose any state government actions that put them at risk. We will continue to wage the fight on their behalf. History warns, however, that some state Democratic leaders may not share the same level of commitment and that’s a major red flag at the start of 2019 state budget negotiations.”

O’Mara called on Cuomo to reverse course on the proposed cut so that it won’t become a bargaining chip in final budget negotiations. He also urged the Legislature’s Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly to immediately reject the Cuomo cut and promise to restore it.

It’s estimated that the Cuomo cut will result in the elimination of AIM for 1,328 of New York’s 1,465 towns and villages unless the governor amends his budget proposal to restore the aid, or the Legislature restores it during final budget negotiations.