Legislature Agrees To Increase Aid To Localities

George Winner

March 28, 2006

Albany, N.Y.-- The Legislature has agreed to provide significant increases in state aid to localities in the final 2006-07 New York State budget, a move that Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) today said is "central to the ongoing effort to address the local property tax struggle across upstate New York."

Winner said that the Legislature’s agreed-upon budget calls for significant increases in unrestricted state aid to the cities of Corning, Elmira, Hornell and Ithaca. Area towns and villages will also receive increases, he said.

"This year’s state budget will recognize that our small cities and localities across upstate New York face an ongoing battle with high property taxes," said Winner.

Winner also continued to express his hope that this year’s state aid increases will be used by local leaders to reduce local property taxes.

"We’ve fought for these significant aid increases because we believe they can help lower local property taxes in many communities. I continue to hope that local leaders will keep property tax relief priority No. 1," said Winner. "We’re working to produce this year’s state budget on time for the second consecutive year, and it’s going to be a budget that strongly recognizes the needs of our local governments and property taxpayers. The centerpiece of this year’s budget focuses on a commitment to regional job security and tax relief. It's a budget for local property taxpayers, for future job creation, for the quality of our communities and to keep alive the hope for sustained economic growth in upstate New York."

Under this year’s budget, local small cities would see increases in unrestricted state aid of up to 25% over last year. Below are the Legislature’s specific agreed-upon increases:

-- The city of Corning will receive an increase of $241,261 over last year. Under the agreement, Corning’s total aid will rise from last year’s $1,230,213 to $1,471,474 in 2006-07;

-- Elmira’s aid will increase $802,976, from $3,330,288 last year to $4,133,264 this year;

-- Hornell’s aid will increase $262,664, from $1,089,383 to $1,352,047; and

-- Ithaca will see a $459,349 increase, from $1,905,116 to $2,364,465.