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DiNapoli: New law will help local governments weather coronavirus pandemic

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Fri, Aug 28th 2020 03:30 pm

Legislation introduced at the request of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that will help ease the financial difficulties facing local governments and school districts and give them greater fiscal flexibility amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been signed into law.

“Local governments across New York are facing dire financial consequences from the coronavirus global pandemic as sales tax revenues shrink and state aid is in jeopardy,” DiNapoli said. “This legislation, proposed by my office, will help ease the burdens they will face until our economy fully recovers. I thank Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature for enacting this important bill quickly.”

The new law, sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Fred Thiele, provides financial and budgetary flexibility to local governments and school districts by: extending the "rollover" period for bond anticipation notes issued in calendar years 2015 through 2021; providing additional options to spend or temporarily transfer moneys in reserve funds for pandemic-related expenses and permitting the repayment of interfund advances made for those expenses by the end of the next succeeding fiscal year, rather than the end of the current fiscal year. Various local government organizations gave the comptroller’s office input in the development of this legislation.

Peter A. Baynes, executive director of the New York State Conference of Mayors, said, "NYCOM thanks State Comptroller DiNapoli for once again showing leadership in helping local governments achieve their goals of sound financial management, property tax control, and the effective provision of essential services. This package of local fiscal flexibility measures will help city and village officials work their way through these extraordinary fiscal times without unnecessary reliance on the property tax. Comptroller DiNapoli clearly knows and supports local governments. For that, NYCOM is very grateful."

Gerry Geist, executive director of the Association of Towns of the State of New York, said, “The Association of Towns thanks Comptroller DiNapoli and his team for their great work on this legislation. It will go a long way in assisting towns at a time where municipal budgets are under significant strain, and it is a great example of state partnership with local governments.

DiNapoli also created a COVID-19 Financial Survival Toolkit to help New York’s residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses alike as they navigate the pandemic. This page offers resources and links to provide access to vital assistance and information.

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