Legislators: 'Funding to make up for non-payment by the Oneidas'
Credit: � Tetra Images/Corbis
ALBANY, N.Y. - State Senators Joseph A. Griffo and David J. Valesky, along with Assemblymembers Anthony J. Brindisi and William Magee have announced that pending final approval of the New York State Budget, the Legislature and the Governor's office have reached an agreement to include $1.5 million each for Oneida and Madison Counties, to help make up for what they say is the shortfalls both counties experience from the non-payment of real property taxes by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. In 2011, the counties each received $980,000 from the State Budget for this purpose. In last year's State Budget, each county received $1 million. "Our region's legislative contingent worked together, in a bi-partisan effort, to increase the funds for both counties in an otherwise flat, State budget year," said Senator Griffo. "As a former County Executive, I know that an increase will help the counties keep to a tight, bottom-line budget as they try to keep taxes as low as possible." "The inclusion of this funding in the final budget is excellent news for Madison and Oneida Counties. I was pleased to work with my colleagues in the Legislature to increase this allocation for the counties, especially as we continue to face severe fiscal pressure in New York State," said Senator Valesky. "The amount that the state provided Madison and Oneida Counties for assistance due to this issue was reduced several years ago during the state's fiscal crisis; that is why I fought to include more assistance for each county in this year's state budget," Assemblyman Brindisi said. "This additional assistance can be used to help relieve the costs of some of the mandates the counties are dealing with, and to provide tax relief to hardworking families." Assemblyman Magee added, "We all knew going into Budget negotiations, that trying to increase last year's allocation for the counties would be a challenging task. We had spoken to officials from both counties, who expressed concern that the reimbursements would be reduced or eliminated altogether." The Legislators also noted that Assemblymembers Marc W. Butler, Claudia Tenney and Ken Blankenbush were also outspoken advocates who lobbied for the increase for both counties during the Budget deliberations.