Jan 16 Cities, counties and school districts
across New York state have increasingly relied on v olatile local
tax revenues to survive as growth in state and federal aid
stalled over the past decade, according to a report on
Total state and federal aid to New York local governments
grew an average of 2.2 percent annually between 2001 and 2011,
said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in a report.
But revenues from sales and real property taxes -- both of
which can be volatile, depending on the economy -- grew at
annual rates of 5.9 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, he
The annual rate of inflation, meanwhile, was 2.4 percent.
The findings on federal and state aid exclude federal stimulus
money, which was a temporary source of funding for
municipalities that ended after 2011.
"Federal and state aid have slowed at a time of rising local
costs," DiNapoli said in a statement.
Even before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast on
Oct. 29 and damaged local infrastructure, some areas of New York
were facing fiscal stress.
Upstate cities like Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo have
suffered decades of economic decline and population losses.
Nassau and Suffolk Counties, on Long Island, have struggled to
close budget deficits in recent years.