OPPOSE CUTS, MERGER & CONSOLIDATIONS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
Part U of S2005/A3005
Public Protection and General Government Budget Bill
The New York State AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union workers and their families, as well as our retirees and their families opposes the above referenced legislation.
This proposal would require each county to submit a plan to merge and/or consolidate services with local governments in that county to the voters this November. The plan does not protect against cuts to services or ensure there are no layoffs. This proposal will not only harm public services that counties and municipalities provide, it strips communities of the ability to decide for themselves the level and type of services they need.
The lack of adequate state aid and an inflexible property tax cap already has many localities in difficult financial situations and has forced cuts to services. This proposal will only make matters worse.
Counties and localities provide police, fire, sanitation, drinking water, sewer, waste water, health care and other vital services that affect the safety and health of a community. They provide senior citizen and veteran services as well as child care and programs for the disabled, making sure those who are most vulnerable have the care they need. They provide parks and recreation, education, roads and bridges and countless other services and programs that enhance the quality of life of all residents.
These are the services that draw businesses and individuals to our state and rather than forcing more cuts, the state should help local governments maintain existing services. The state should increase aid to localities and should establish a more flexibile tax cap that reflects the true cost of providing services. Further, the state should reign in IDAs and LDCs that grant tax breaks to businesses with virtually no input from the governments that are affected. These tax breaks cost hundreds of millions in local tax revenue annually yet the impacted counties and local government never get to vote on them.
Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be defeated.
For further information, contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.