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Counties renew call for mandate relief

Rochester Business Journal
October 8, 2012

New York counties Monday renewed their call that costs for state services and programs not be passed down to the local level.

Until the state reduces its mandates, counties will continue to face structural deficits, said Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties.

“Counties are doing their part to lower the costs they can control, but they have no ability to reduce the costs handed down by Albany,” he said in a statement.

The sputtering economic climate will result in a projected cumulative fiscal gap of more than $10 billion over the next five years, NYSAC said. Despite a cap in the growth of local Medicaid costs in 2015 and a new pension tier for future public employees, local costs for nine state-mandated programs and services will outpace available property tax revenues by $130 million in 2013.
 
“The counties, as the administrative arm of state government delivering state services locally, are sending an alarm signal to the state that the present programs are unaffordable to the state and local governments and the status quo is unacceptable,” Acquario said.

NYSAC also released a report, Roadmap to Mandate Relief. It is available at www.nysac.org.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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