Additional $69 Million Rate Increase for Taxpayers

Talking on behalf of county property taxpayers from across the State, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) today decried action in the latest one week State Budget extender that ends up costing counties and county property taxpayers more than $100 million for State mandated child welfare and youth detention programs delivered by counties.“We cannot sit around in silence over a $100 million cost shift from our elected State leaders in Albany,” said NYSAC President Tom Santulli, Chemung County Executive. “Who is working for New York’s property taxpayers? Judging by this recent action, it’s not the State.”NYSAC yesterday detailed a $34.4 million cost shift in the form of reduced state reimbursement for child welfare (preventive and protective services) from a 63.7% to 62% state reimbursement rate, retroactive to claims from October 1, 2009. These programs include child welfare protection, prevention, adoption, foster care and juvenile delinquency programs.New information today reveals that an additional $69 million in a rate increase to counties was tucked into Monday’s emergency State spending bill. The measure includes an Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS) rate increase for current year youth detention facility services and a retroactive charge back for those services that extends back over several years.“This action by the State, shifting operational costs to local taxpayers, is unacceptable. Governments at all levels—Federal, state, and local—are struggling to continue services, mindful of the impact to taxpayers. Simply shifting the obligation to fund State programs and services to the local level is not a solution for the State’s economic crisis, and it should be reversed,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving all 62 counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate and advocate for member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.

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