County Officials Submit Roadmap For Mandate Relief
Published: October 9th, 2012
By: Melissa deCordova

ALBANY – County leaders throughout New York State yesterday renewed the call for mandate relief by delivering a series of rational and actionable mandate relief ideas to the Governor’s Mandate Relief Council and state lawmakers. The Roadmap to Mandate Relief was published by the New York State Association of Counties.

“Unless and until the state relieves some of these mandates, our counties will continue to face structural deficits,” said Stephen Acquario, NYSAC Executive Director. “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.”

Even with significant and sustained efforts by counties to control budget costs, the continuing poor economic climate is leading to a cumulative projected fiscal gap of more than $10 billion over the next five years for all counties combined, according to research conducted by NYSAC. The governor and state legislature enacted substantial mandate relief during the 2012 Legislative Session which helped to address this budget gap (capping the growth of local Medicaid costs in 2015 and instituting a Tier VI for future public employees). However, for county government, the present fiscal gap has become much more acute with increasing local costs of just nine state mandated programs and services outpacing available property tax revenues by $130 million in 2013 alone.

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