In the town of East Greenbush, Supervisor Jack Conway says taxpayers will likely see their bills increase by one percent if Governor Cuomo does not reverse his decision to reduce AIM funding, which many local governments rely on each year.
AIM stands for Aid and Incentives to Municipalities.
“We have increased pressure on our infrastructure, increased pressure on our essential services, [so] taking a $73,000 out of our general fund is really going to hurt,” Conway said.
Conway was joined by other leaders from numerous local towns and counties on Thursday, in hopes of highlighting the importance of the state funding source.
“That’s real money. It makes a difference. Whether it’s salt to plow the roads, whether it's a part-time position to help with enforcement, it has a large impact," said John McDonald, (D) Assembly, Cohoes.
The Governor's January budget proposal called for a $59 million reduction across the state, which accounts for an eight percent cut.
“Our governor is abdicating his responsibility as the leader of this state to finance effectively and responsibly." said Jake Ashby, (R) Assembly, Castleton.
McDonald tends to agree.
“With this proposal there are grave concerns from Long Island to Buffalo,” McDonald said.
After facing criticism about the cuts, Governor Cuomo announced on Friday that he is planning to devote half of the revenue from a proposed new internet sales tax to county governments, that would in-turn, divide the money up amongst its municipalities.
Some local leaders say that doesn’t do nearly enough to restore the AIM funds.
“It just becomes an avalanche of, again, unfunded mandates from the state of New York,” said Steve McLaughlin, (R) Rensselaer County Executive.
The change in the economy is a major issue for Conway.
“Costs are always coming up, the town is growing and yet state support is shrinking. It’s not an equation we can sustain,” Conway said.