State begins to reduce AIM funding to cities
Jun 25, 2020 5:45 am
Amanda Fries is reporting for the Times Union officials in 12 New York cities have learned their state funding has been reduced as the Cuomo administration withholds a total of $74 million from municipalities statewide. The state Conference of Mayors June 23, shared on Twitter a spreadsheet of 12 cities, including Rensselaer and Amsterdam, that will see a 20 percent reduction in their aid to municipalities funding, which is usually distributed to communities at the end of their fiscal years. The reduction will pose serious cash-flow issues, particularly because it is the end of (the cities') fiscal year, said Peter Baynes, executive director of the Conference of Mayors. AIM funding is a primary source of revenue for municipalities, and cuts will make paying for essential services difficult. The amounts to be withheld vary — from nearly $139,000 for the city of Rensselaer to $19.5 million for Yonkers, according to figures compiled by the Conference of Mayors. Freeman Klopott, spokesperson for the state Division of the Budget, said support for AIM is not being reduced, instead the state is holding back 20 percent as it contends with its own cash crunch. Rensselaer Mayor Michael Stammel said the city was already facing a $2.4 million deficit due to budgeting errors in previous years and the city has also seen a drop in sales tax revenue. He said a deeper deficit could mean layoffs and service cuts beginning July 1. Read the full story in the Times Union.