ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York Conference of Mayors says that $74 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities, or AIM funding payments, will be withheld to 12 cities in New York.
The Executive Director of the New York Conference of Mayors says AIM funding is “general purpose state aid that goes to municipalities.” And the 20 percent withholding impacts cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.
In a statement, Freeman Klopott with the state Division of the Budget said, “We are not reducing support for AIM at this time and instead are holding back 20% of the funding as the State contends with a cash crunch caused by a 14% drop in revenue due entirely to the pandemic, the federal decision to delay income tax filings to July, and awaits clarity on federal assistance to offset this revenue loss.”
“While it’s not yet a cut, it certainly creates tremendous fiscal pressure on these cities as they’re trying to close out their fiscal years over the next week or two without a deficit,” NYCOM Executive Director Peter Baynes said.
According to Baynes, the AIM program total is about $650 million, and that any budget challenges a municipality has will have an effect on jobs.
“On an average, 80 percent of any municipality’s budget is for personnel because most municipal service are people services whether it’s firefighters, police officers, school crossing guards, people who run the parks for your children,” Baynes said.
Baynes says, if the temporary withholding of state aid to municipalities continues for an extended period of time, “there’s a high likelihood there will be layoffs at the municipal layoff just because the size of these aid payments for some cities that receive them, they are a big chunk of their budget.”