Supervisors send governor a message

Gloversville 5th Ward Gregory Young, center, discusses state government at the Fulton County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday afternoon at the County Office Building in Johnstown. To his right is Gloversville 6th Ward Supervisor Warren Greene. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Negative comments were made about Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday opposed the proposed 2019-20 executive state budget as it impacts aid and incentives to municipalities and shifts state costs to counties.

The entire board seconded the resolution, which criticizes aspects of Cuomo’s budget for next year.

The resolution notes that Cuomo announced Feb. 15 a 30-day amendment to the 2020 executive budget making impacted towns and villages whole from the governor’s proposed cuts to Aid to Municipalities, or AIM funding, by diverting revenue from county sales tax.

“Instead of restoring AIM with state funding, the proposed amendment imposes a new unfunded mandate upon counties and pits county governments against local towns and village governments,” the resolution says.

This action, the resolution adds, will require counties to make up for the state’s cut in AIM funding to villages and towns and sets an “unsustainable precedent,” shifting the state’s obligation to local taxpayers who already pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

“I was so upset when I read this,” said Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria Jr.

Lauria said that on one hand the governor imposes 2 percent tax caps on municipalities, but “wants to cripple us” by working to get even more money from local taxpayers.

Gloversville 6th Ward Supervisor Warren Greene asked where was the relief that was promised from Albany for unfunded mandates, when new ones keep getting added.

“We have to balance our budgets by cutting spending,” noted Perth Supervisor Gregory Fagan.

He asked why the state can’t do the same.

Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Gregory Young added, “It reminds me of people who go into debt when they use their tax refund.”

Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born stated that New York’s counties should band together and “let him know we’re not happy with him.”

The resolution passed Monday at the County Office Building indicated the Fulton County Board of Supervisors “opposes this ill-advised cost shift that will ultimately lead to higher property taxes.”

Supervisors supported the “full restoration” of AIM funding to local governments and urges Cuomo and the state Legislature to fully restore this state funding in the final 2019-20 state budget.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Josh Bovee

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