Municipal Aid Programs
Links to Aid by Municipality
- Aid for Cities
In PDF Format (Published 4/24/06; 14KB)
- Aid for Towns
In PDF Format (Published 4/24/06; 65KB)
- Aid for Villages
In PDF Format (Published 4/24/06; 41KB)
- Payment Schedule
In PDF Format (Published 4/24/06; 14KB)
The 2006-07 enacted State Budget includes a record $127 million increase in aid for cities, towns and villages that features second year funding under the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) program, as well as additional unrestricted aid. The enacted Budget also includes $25 million for an expanded Shared Municipal Services Incentive (SMSI) program that will provide State grants to encourage local government consolidation and shared services.
Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM)
Enacted in 2005-06, the AIM program combined multiple local unrestricted aid categories within a new funding stream designed to minimize property tax growth while enhancing local fiscal performance. The 2006-07 enacted Budget increases AIM payments to municipalities by $50 million and features fiscal accountability criteria for cities that directly encourage property tax relief. Key components of the 2006-07 AIM program include:
- AIM Funding Increases for Cities: On top of the 12.75 percent AIM increases provided in 2005-06, all 61 cities outside of New York City will receive additional increases ranging from 3.25 percent to 11 percent, based on per capita property wealth measures. Over this two-year period, 42 high need cities eligible for the maximum AIM funding will receive a 25 percent aid increase. All cities will be required to use the new State aid to provide property tax relief. The additional funding is scheduled for payment in December for cities with fiscal years that begin January 1st and in March for all other cities.
- Fiscal Accountability Criteria for Cities: As a condition of receiving additional AIM funding in 2006-07,
the chief elected official of each city receiving an increase in aid must certify to the Director of the Budget by March 31,
2007 that their city has complied with the following AIM fiscal accountability requirements:
- Develop a multi-year financial plan. Required contents for multi-year financial plans are similar to the 2005-06 AIM program. (See below link to AIM program requirements for details.) Although State approval of a city multi-year financial plan is not required, cities are encouraged to share informational copies of these plans with the Director of the Budget as well as the Office of the State Comptroller.
- Use the AIM increases for real property tax relief by: (a) reducing the city's property tax levy; (b) addressing budget gaps identified in city's multi-year financial plan; or (c) supporting investments in efficiency and productivity initiatives that reduce local spending.
- Pursue cost saving efficiencies through shared service arrangements or other government consolidation initiatives, and document such efforts as part of the city's multi-year financial plan.
In addition to the above criteria, the 2006-07 increase in AIM funding may not be used to support additional costs that result from collective bargaining agreements entered into on or after April 1, 2006. Moreover, if the new 2006-07 aid cannot be used consistent with the above requirements in the city's current fiscal year, it must instead be used for property tax relief in the following city fiscal year.
The statutory authorization for these requirements can be found in the Public Protection and General Government Budget Bill, Chapter 50 of the Laws of 2006 (S.6450-C/A.9550-C), starting on page 253, line 18 and ending on page 254, line 35. A link to this law is provided below.
- AIM Funding Increases for Towns and Villages: Following a 3.75 percent increase last year, all 1,485 of the State’s towns and villages will receive 3.25 percent in additional AIM funding with a $100 minimum increase in 2006-07. This additional aid is scheduled for payment in September.
2006-07 Unrestricted Aid
The 2006-07 enacted Budget also includes $77 million in new unrestricted aid for cities, towns and villages. This additional aid will be allocated as follows:
- “Big Four” Cities: The four largest cities outside the City of New York will receive specified amounts: $13.6 million for the City of Buffalo; $12 million for the City of Rochester; $9 million for the City of Syracuse; and $11.8 million for the City of Yonkers.
- Other Cities: The unrestricted aid increase for all other cities outside the City of New York will equal to 13.1113 percent of total AIM funding received in the 2005-06 fiscal year. Most cities will receive a 24 percent increase in aid for 2006-07 when the new unrestricted aid funding is combined with increases under the AIM program. Payment of the new unrestricted aid to cities is scheduled in the same month as increases in AIM funding (i.e., December for cities with fiscal years that begin January 1st and March for all other cities).
- Towns and Villages: All towns and villages will receive an increase in unrestricted aid equal to 16.7145 percent of AIM funding received in the 2005-06 fiscal year. In 2006-07, the combined AIM and unrestricted aid increase for most towns and villages will be 20 percent. The additional aid is scheduled for payment in September along with funding under the AIM program.
Shared Municipal Services Incentive (SMSI) Program
As part of an overall State initiative to reduce the local property tax burden, the 2006-07 enacted State Budget substantially increases funding for the Shared Municipal Services Incentive (SMSI) program from $2.75 million to $25 million. Municipalities will be able apply to the Department of State for grant awards in the following categories:
- Expanded SMSI Awards: In 2005-06, a $2.75 million SMSI program was enacted to fund cooperative efforts by two or more municipalities to achieve savings through eligible activities ranging from shared services to consolidation or merger. In 2006-07, this “base” award program will be increased to at least $5.5 million. The maximum SMSI award level has been raised from $100,000 to $200,000. In addition, special purpose units of government such as fire districts and water districts will now be eligible for SMSI awards.
- Shared Highway Services Incentive Awards: Highway services, currently provided by virtually all counties, cities, towns and villages, provide significant opportunities for cost savings through the local sharing of staff, equipment and facilities. Within the SMSI program, $4 million will be provided in 2006-07 to fund grants of up to $300,000 to support shared highway services.
- Local Health Insurance Incentive Awards: An additional $4.5 million in SMSI funding will encourage local efforts to control rapidly rising employee health insurance costs. SMSI awards of up to $500,000 will be available for activities including start-up funding for municipal health insurance consortiums, matching grants for local savings achieved by joining the State's health insurance plan, and incentive grants to encourage local collective bargaining agreements that reflect employee health insurance cost sharing.
- Countywide Shared Services Incentive Awards: Many counties are well positioned to lead local efforts to share government services. An additional $1 million is provided within SMSI to support State grants of up to $300,000 for counties that initiate countywide service sharing agreements involving at least half of the cities, towns, villages and schools districts within their borders.
- Municipal Consolidation Incentive Funding: In addition to regular SMSI grant awards to support local planning costs associated with the consolidation of local governments, $10 million in new funding is provided to match local savings achieved through these efforts. These matching grants of up to $1 million will help localities offset one-time costs related to local consolidations.
The statutory authorization for the 2006-07 SMSI program can be found in the Public Protection and General Government Budget Bill, Chapter 50 of the Laws of 2006 (S.6450-C/A.9550-C), starting on page 256, line 17 and ending on page 259, line 18. A link to this law is provided below.
Guidelines on the grant application and award process will be issued by the Department of State.