ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Legislators heard from Mayors across the state on Monday about some of the budget concerns facing cities in New York.
“With the amount of tax-exempt property we have in the state we just can’t continue to function,” Kathy Sheehan, Mayor of Albany, said.
Mayor Sheehan testified urging legislators to pour more money into their cities. At least in Albany, Sheehan says the police and fire departments are the ones taking the biggest hit and other services are at the risk of getting cut altogether.
“We could be looking at cutting our entire recreation program, we could be looking at cutting all of our parks programs. We’re being asked to do this and no other city is.”
Sheehan says there is an imbalance of funding that has been persisting for years.
“We receive about a quarter of what Buffalo and Syracuse receive, abut a third of what Rochester receives, half of what Utica and Troy receive.”
Sheehan is not the only mayor prepared to ask for more money today. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says her city is also behind in receiving state assistance.
“Funding for youth and recreation centers, we are funding our libraries, we are funding after-school programs,” Mayor Warren said.
With the growing cost of these programs and the city’s infrastructure needs, Warren says Rochester is one more city not receiving enough funding this budget season.
“We’re being asked to do more and more and we want to be able to do that but we need more support to be able to provide those services.”
The Mayor from Syracuse and New York City also testified today at the joint budget hearing.
The final budget is due on April 1st.