The State Legislature has agreed on a municipal aid package that will increase state aid to the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda by a record 24 percent, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger reported today.
“I’m pleased to announce that the Twin Cities are each slated to receive the maximum percentage increase allotted for smaller cities once the new state budget is passed in Albany,” said Assemblyman Schimminger. “This aid increase closely parallels the proposal put forth by the Assembly back in January, shortly after the Governor proposed an increase of just 11 percent for cities in his 2006-07 executive budget.”
Schimminger noted that both North Tonawanda and Tonawanda will be receiving the highest aid increase percentage, which ranges from 16.36 percent to the 24.11 percent the Tonawandas and a number of other upstate cities will be receiving. “Localities across Upstate New York are struggling with increasing costs, limited tax bases and a stagnant economy. Any relief we can provide to our cities – and ultimately local taxpayers – is good news, and the level of this state aid increase is terrific news.”
North Tonawanda is scheduled to receive $3,806,481 in unrestricted state aid, an increase of $739,492 over this year’s level and $402,123 more than the Governor proposed, while the City of Tonawanda’s aid hike of $464,856, which is $252,781 higher than the Governor’s plan, will bring Tonawanda’s state aid for 2006-07 to $2,392,814. This unrestricted aid can be used however local officials determine, and is in addition to the various sources of categorical aid sent to localities from Albany for distinct purposes, such as the CHIPs program that assists local governments with street and bridge repairs, and agency and legislative grants for specific local projects.
According to Schimminger, the bipartisan aid package agreed to by the Assembly and State Senate will be included in the final legislative budget that is expected to be passed in Albany this week.