Gunther: Assembly Plan to Increase Aid to Localities Will Help Avoid Tax Hikes

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh) reiterated her support for the Assembly’s proposal to increase state aid to local governments to help alleviate local taxes.

“Residents in Orange and Sullivan counties are overburdened by excessive taxes at every level,” Gunther said. “I wholeheartedly support the Assembly’s proposal to provide additional funds to supplement our municipalities. I will fight to bring more state aid back to Orange and Sullivan counties to help keep taxes down.”

The governor’s budget calls for a $50 million increase in municipal aid through the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities program, called AIM. The Assembly’s proposal would add $100 million more, recognizing that localities often rely on sales and property tax hikes as a means for balancing their budgets.

Under the Assembly’s plan, all towns, villages and cities will receive an across-the-board increase of nearly 12% with towns in Sullivan County getting an increase of 15% - the largest aggregate increase in recent history. In contrast, the Governor’s proposed budget would increase funding to most municipalities by a mere 3.25%. For localities in Sullivan County the Assembly is proposing an increase of more than four times that of the governor.

“Last year we were able provide Medicaid cost relief to counties and increase aid to school districts,” Gunther said. “We should build on this momentum by increasing state aid to cities, towns and villages so their budgets aren’t balanced on the backs of taxpayers.”