Adirondack villages rap state aid distributionThe Adirondack Daily Enterprise had a fascinating article on the way state aid is divided up.
According to the Saranac Lake based paper, the New York state legislature gives far more aid per capita to entities classified as cities than those classified as towns or villages.
Leaders from three of the largest villages in the Adirondacks passed a resolution pointing out, among other things, that cities receive about 60 percent of state aid funding while villages receive only 2 percent, despite the fact that villages have to provide “city-like” services such as water, sewer, police and fire.
The paper noted that the Adirondack villages in question receive between $8 and $15 per person in state aid while the decaying capital district city of Amsterdam receives $115 per person.
The daily concludes that as a result villages have to use property taxes to generate larger portions of their revenue base. In 2004, Tupper Lake generated 72 percent of its revenue through property taxes, Saranac Lake was at 70 percent and Lake Placid was at 66 percent. Amsterdam raises 35 percent through land taxes.
The mayor of Saranac Lake reiterated that he is not necessarily calling for more aid statewide but for the existing aid to be distributed more fairly.
“There are villages that are bigger than cities. There are towns bigger than cities," he said.