Tioga Chairwoman Sauerbrey wants state to keep its hands off local sales tax receipts


(Owego, NY) – Martha Sauerbrey, Chairwoman of the Tioga County Legislature has announced that she is joining with the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) to call on Gov. Kathy Hochul and the State Assembly and Senate to end the diversion local sales taxes from local communities into State coffers.

Since 2019, New York State has been diverting local sales taxes that should go to local programs and services and directing them to pay for state responsibilities — first for the AIM Program for towns and villages and second to a State pool for distressed healthcare facilities.

County Leaders are asking the State to ensure the final state budget ends the practice, which has diverted more than $677 million in local sales taxes away from local communities into the State’s general fund — equivalent to
$618,000 per day over the last three years.

“Local tax revenue should stay in the community where it is collected,” said Sauerbrey. “This is money that is meant to support daycare services, public safety, emergency services, and mental health and addiction services, not footing the bill for state and federal responsibilities.”

“Nobody disputes aid to municipalities and distressed healthcare facilities is incredibly important, that amid during the pandemic. What local governments are saying is that these programs should be funded by the state and federal government who have more capacity to raise revenue and are not reliant on regressive taxes,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “It’s time to get back to normal in this State, and that means
returning to responsible budgeting that keeps local tax revenue in local communities.”

Acquario noted that counties were grateful to Hochul for eliminating the diversion of local sales taxes to support the State Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) Program from her Executive Budget proposal and hopeful it will stay out of the final budget.

Now, Acquario said, “counties are requesting that the remaining diversion be allowed to sunset on March 31st of this year, as originally proposed in 2020.

To learn more about county priorities for the SFY 2023 State Budget, go online to nysac.org/nysbudget