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Buffalo-area mayors to NYS: Increase state funding for cities & villages for first time in 15 years


Tue, Mar 19th 2024 03:15 pm

Advocates for municipal state aid continue statewide tour in Buffalo

Submitted by the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials

The New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM), representing cities and villages across the Empire State, continued its statewide tour in Buffalo, urging the governor and the State Legislature to increase unrestricted aid to cities and villages for the first time in 15 years.

The tour’s primary focus will be on the impact that Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) funding has on the state’s cities and villages. This funding has not increased in 15 years – directly affecting the ability of local governments to respond to the growing demands on public safety and other essential municipal services. The executive budget proposal calls for $715 million in funding. From the one-house budget bills, the Senate has proposed an increase of $210 million over the executive budget proposal, with the Assembly's proposal calling for an increase of at least $100 million.

“I implore Gov. Kathy Hochul and lawmakers statewide for an increase to the city’s AIM funding for the first time in 12 years,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. “Since 2012, inflation has increased by nearly 45% and AIM disbursement has gone from 35% to 28% of the city’s revenue, leaving the taxpayers to cover the bill in the shortfall. With once-in-a-lifetime aid to cities coming to an end, a continuation of the current funding system as it could be catastrophic to Buffalo and its residents.”

“As the collective voice for New York’s cities and villages, this tour showcases and highlights the very real challenges our members deal with daily through the lack of additional unrestricted state aid,” said Barbara J. Van Epps, NYCOM executive director. “Mayors share the same goals as our state leaders – to keep our communities safe and affordable – but we can’t do that on our own. We need an ongoing commitment from the state to be a partner in our efforts to break down the barriers to efficiency and community revitalization.”

“It’s vitally important to visit various parts of our state in order to drive home to our governor and the State Legislature that increasing AIM funding is vitally important to our cities and villages, and ultimately our residents,” said Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan, who serves as NYCOM president. “Cities, just like Buffalo or Albany, deliver for our residents every day, and securing additional state aid will expand our efforts to enhance public safety and invest in our aging infrastructure.”

NYCOM’s 2024 legislative priorities include the following:


•Increase unrestricted aid to cities and villages

•Provide dedicated funding for local water and sewer infrastructure

•Increase highway funding

•Remove the tax cap's disincentives for economic growth

Employee Relations and Public Safety

•Reform the civil service law

•Establish general ambulance service as an essential service, and support state funding for EMS providers

•Increase the amount a public employee retiree can earn as a public employee

Government Operations and Community Redevelopment

•Enhance tools to address vacant, distressed and abandoned property

•Create financial incentives to revitalize properties

•Strengthen vehicle and traffic regulation and enforcement

•Prohibit nuisance Freedom of Information Law requests

Energy, Environment and Technology

•Promote sustainability and alternative energy resources

•Implement extended producer responsibility across sectors

•Provide funding for water contamination testing and source water protection

For more information about NYCOM, its mission, and its legislative priorities, visit nycom.org.

More About NYCOM

The New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials is an association of, and for, cities and villages in New York. Since 1910, NYCOM has united local government officials in an active statewide network focused on the singular purpose of finding the most effective means of providing essential municipal services. Through the active participation of our membership, which represents more than 12 million New Yorkers, NYCOM is an aggressive advocate for city and village interests before the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government, as we seek to ensure local home rule for the government closest to the people. 

Visit www.nycom.org.

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