Local governments across New York are being hindered by the slow growth in federal and state aid, a report today from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said.
From 2001 through 2011, federal and state aid grew 2.2 percent annually, slower than the 2.4 percent rate of inflation, DiNapoli said. The slow growth of aid has meant that local governments has had to rely more on property and sales-tax revenue, DiNapoli said.
DiNapoli told Gannett’s Albany Bureau today that he’s not advocating for more state or federal aid, just pointing out that the issue is one of many facing local governments. He has been issuing regular reports on the struggles of local governments.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that what is driving the increased pressure on local governments is the fact that some of the traditional aid and support from the state and federal level just haven’t been there,” DiNapoli said. “That’s forcing either raising taxes on the local level or cutting services on the local level.”
From 2001 through 2011, federal aid to New York’s local governments grew by $932 million, roughly 3.5 percent a year. The recent increases had to do with the federal stimulus package, DiNapoli said.
During the same period, the state’s funding grew by 1.2 percent a year. Most of the increase came through the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities, the so-called AIM program that provides direct aid to cities and towns.