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Counties across Upstate New York are worried about budget provision that would increase operating costs

County governments in New York are expressing their disapproval over a provision in Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget that could lead to a cost shift, which they claim could lead to an increase in property taxes. The state’s Association of Counties argues that the budget could withhold $625 million in federal funds, which have been used for a decade to avoid increasing taxes.

The provision in question deals with cost-sharing under the federal Medicaid program, which counties play a role in administering. If passed, counties would lose $281 million in the first year, while New York City would lose $345 million. The money provided under the Affordable Care Act has been used to help fund Medicaid and help offset the cost of expanding the program.


According to Clinton County Administrator Michael E. Zurlo, who is also the president of NYSAC, the proposed budget would not only harm New York’s local taxpayers but also subvert Congress’ intent for the funding to be shared with local governments that contribute to the state’s Medicaid program. Counties in New York contribute over $7.6 billion annually, which is more than what all other counties in the country combined contribute.

In a letter signed by New York’s bipartisan group of 19 county executives, they urge state lawmakers to reject the proposal, noting that new costs imposed on local governments eventually come from New Yorkers’ pockets in the form of increased property taxes, making the state a less affordable place to live, work, or start a business.



Categories: New York StateNews