Counties Group Wants AIM Funding Restored

The New York State Association of Counties wants the state Legislature to restore funding for the Aid and Incentives To Municipalities program without taking the money from money for counties.

As the 2019-20 state budget continues to be debated at the state Capitol, the $60 million appropriation in AIM funding is one of the issues being negotiated by the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal, AIM funding was eliminated for municipalities that used AIM for less than 2 percent of their local budgets. This was met by opposition by counties, towns and villages impacted. In response, Cuomo amended his budget and mandated that the counties make the towns and villages whole — using county sales taxes.

“This is nothing more than a new $60 million state mandate that homeowners and small businesses will have to finance, while not improving the finances of cities, towns, and villages across the state,” said Charles H. Nesbitt Jr, president of the New York State Association of Counties.

In their one-house budget bills, the state Senate and Assembly restored state funding for AIM,.

“We commend the Senate and Assembly for recognizing the importance of this state aid program to local governments across the state,” said Stephen J. Acquario, NYSAC executive director.