State Aid Continues to Fall Short

A December 2014 report presented by Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning, the Community and Regional Development Institute, and the Fiscal Policy Institute entitled State Austerity Policy & Creative Local Response, stated:

“Currently, most government functions in New York State are handled by municipalities and school districts rather than the state. Local governments (except NYC) can only raise property taxes and fees, and have been keeping their expenditures steady over the past 10 years when adjusted for inflation.”

“State aid for counties and towns has dropped dramatically over the past 10 years, while aid to villages is flat. School districts have also seen drops in state aid.”

“To control property taxes, the state promised three policy changes. However, a lack of mandate relief meant localities had to make ends meet with cuts and higher taxes, hurting economic prospects.”

Long Island and the downstate region are particularly impacted by revenue sharing inequity as we continue to receive a disproportionate amount. According to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at SUNY Albany, “New York City and the downstate suburbs give far more to Albany in revenues that they get in state-funded expenditures. Downstate communities account for 27 % of the state’s total tax dollars, yet only 17 % is returned in state aid.”

For every dollar we generate in taxes for New York State, only 72 cents of state aid is returned.