ALBANY, NY – The New York Conference of Mayors says that 74 million dollars in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities or (AIM) funding will be withheld to 12 cities in New York.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on why the organization says it’s already creating a problem for localities.

The Executive Director of the New York Conference of Mayors says AIM funding is “general purpose state aid that goes to municipalities.”

And, the 20 percent withholding impacts cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.  

In a statement a spokesperson with the state Division of the Budget said:

“We are not reducing support for AIM at this time and instead are holding back 20% of the funding as the State contends with a cash crunch caused  by a 14% drop in revenue due entirely to the pandemic, the federal decision to delay income tax filings to July, and awaits clarity on federal assistance to offset this revenue loss.”

((Peter Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director)) While it’s not yet a cut, it certainly creates tremendous fiscal pressure on these cities as they’re trying to close out their fiscal years over the next week or two without a deficit.

Baynes says the AIM program total is about $650 million, and that any budget challenges a municipality has will have an effect on jobs. 

((Peter Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director))

On an average 80 percent of any municipality’s budget is for personnel because most municipal service are people services whether it’s fire fighters, police officers, school crossing guards, people who run the parks for your children.

He says if the temporary withholding of state aid to municipalities continues for an extended period of time:

((Peter Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director)) I would say there’s a high likelihood there will be layoffs at the municipal layoff just because the size of these aid payments for some cities that receive them, they are a big chunk of their budget. 

Baynes also noted that some municipalites have already been furloughing workers.