NY mayors urge state to release withheld AIM, transportation funding

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York Conference of Mayors says $250 million has been withheld in transportation and Aid and Incentives for Municipalities funding to localities since June. That’s aside from more than $800 million that’s been withheld to New York City.

According to NYCOM, so far, more than $33 million has been withheld from Buffalo and nearly $3 million from Albany. The organization says the state’s current policy is having a negative impact on the ability for localities to provide essential services and maintain budgets without tax increases. 

NYCOM is calling for the withheld funding to be released and for the full amounts to be included in the next budget. NYCOM Executive Director Peter Baynes says now that president-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, it’s time for the state to release the funds. 

“In that package is $350 billion for state and local aid. The state’s tax receipts are doing better than initially anticipated. The state has already received about $10 billion in federal stimulus funding, so we think the state can afford to release this money,” Baynes said. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press briefing Friday that New York State needs $15 billion from the “American Rescue Plan.” 

In a statement a spokesperson with the state Division of the Budget said, “The State is contending with devastating revenue loss and in the absence of federal funding to offset it, and to keep the budget in balance as a result we have used the tools provided by the legislature. The state funds schools, hospitals, and services for the most vulnerable, and ultimately anywhere we don’t reduce funding will mean deeper reductions in another. The Executive Budget will be released in the coming week and will provide further details on the state’s finances.”

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