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Thiele predicts full AIM fund restoration

COURTESY PHOTO Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.

The final state budget is expected to include full restoration of the Aid and Incentive to Municipalities Program funding for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) made the announcement in a press release, saying with final negotiations and approval of the State Legislature and Governor, the money is on track to be restored to the budget.

The  governor’s proposal had slashed $59 million from last year’s $715 million allocation that Mr. Thiele has said is vital to providing needed state aid to towns, villages and cities outside of New York City. The program was initially established in 2005-06.

“The Executive’s Proposal would have greatly reduced funding from last year’s level of $715 million to $656 million, as well as eliminated this essential funding for towns and villages where last year’s AIM award equaled two percent or less of the municipality’s total expenditure,” Mr. Thiele said.

The result would resulted in  90 percent of municipalities, including all of Suffolk and Nassau counties, having their entire AIM funding eliminated. Mr. Cuomo said the cuts could be made up by increases in sales tax collected by counties. But Mr. Thiele said that only shifted the burden from the state to the county and would not represent “a true restoration of these critical funds.”

Mr. Thiele called on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to include a full restoration of AIM funding in the Assembly One-House Budget Proposal, adopted March 13.

“This reduction would have been detrimental to our local governments, likely triggering tax increases for homeowners, cuts to services and layoffs of town and village employees,” Mr. Thiele said. “I am proud to say that our efforts, and the efforts of my colleagues and all of the New Yorkers that fought against this misguided proposal, have paid off in a victory.”

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