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Niagara County Legislature unanimously votes to rescind Cuomo's proposal to cut AIM funding

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Wed, Mar 20th 2019 04:35 pm

On Tuesday night, the Niagara County Legislature voted unanimously to rescind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 budget proposal to cut funding for the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) program.

In New York state’s fiscal year of 2005-06, the AIM program was created to pull together various aid programs for cities, towns and villages in New York, while limiting local property tax growth and encouraging shared services.

In his 2020 budget plan, Cuomo has proposed slashing AIM funds to towns and villages across New York by 87 percent. Consequently, every single town and village in Niagara County will be adversely impacted by the governor’s proposal, affecting taxpayers in each respective municipality. The legislature stated this proposal would be detrimental to the affected communities, leading to cuts in spending or raised taxes to meet established obligations.

Niagara County Legislator Jesse Gooch, who represents parts of Wheatfield and North Tonawanda, was the lead sponsor for this resolution.

Although the executive budget proposal would leave AIM for cities intact, it slashed funding for towns and smaller municipalities. Wheatfield, which Gooch represents, stands to lose $55,227 in funding if Cuomo’s budget is enacted.

“By removing AIM funding from his executive budget proposal, Gov. Cuomo has placed towns across Niagara County at risk. Though not surprising, it is telling that, when faced with a deficit, Cuomo’s first thought was to cut funding on which upstate towns rely,” Gooch said. “I became a legislator to stand up for my community. Although I’m new to the legislature, I couldn’t stay silent while Gov. Cuomo attacked our towns; and I’m proud to have passed my first resolution. I will continue to fight for the people of Niagara County each and every day.”

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