Livingston County is joining the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) in once again urging state government to end the practice of diverting local sales tax for state spending purposes.
New York State began intercepting and diverting local sales tax to fund state programs in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019 when it used local sales taxes to backfill $59 million in state cuts to the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) program. Then, again, in SFY 2021, the state seized $250 million per year to fund a temporary state-controlled distressed health facilities fund in response to the COVID pandemic.
“This is budget gimmickry 101 from our friends in Albany,” explained Livingston County Administrator Ian M. Coyle. “With these practices, our County taxpayers were left footing the bill to the tune of more than $800,000 in SFY 2021 for the state’s own budget deficit and it has to stop. Livingston County is calling upon state government to right this wrong and end the state’s sales tax diversion. Local taxes should stay local, period.”
Coyle went on to say the practice of funding state programs with local sales taxes is regressive, puts increased pressure on property taxes, and weakens the County’s ability to fund local services.
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