Senate Passes Bill to Help Control Unfunded State Mandates on Schools and Local Governments

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to prevent costly unfunded mandates from burdening municipal and school budgets and their taxpayers. The bill (S3144A), sponsored by Senator Rich Funke (R-C-I, Fairport), helps curtail potential property tax increases or cuts to existing services by lessening the affect of state actions on local governments’ bottom lines.

Senator Funke said, “The mandated spending that Albany forces on local governments and school districts sends taxes soaring for residents and employers alike in my community and all across our state. Our bill to cap mandated cost hikes would go a long way to keep local taxpayers from picking up Albany’s spending tab, and I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support of this common sense proposal.”

Programs mandated by the state place taxpayers and local officials in the position of paying for services that they do not control. When the state sets local priorities and forces municipal taxing decisions by mandating services, programs, and standards, many local governments and school districts are forced to make difficult choices such as increasing property taxes or cutting back on other services and programs.

This bill prevents future unfunded mandates from negatively affecting local finances and driving up property taxes by requiring the state to assume the costs. This would make it easier for local governments to stay within the property tax cap and provide further relief to local taxpayers.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Senators Involved