Only a handful of city and village governments are facing fiscal stress after billions of dollars of federal aid flowed to New York in the last year, buoying budgets along the way, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found in a report released Wednesday.
The news could have positive implications for taxpayers and residents who rely on services local governments provide amid rising consumer costs and as spending returns to levels seen prior to the pandemic.
“The financial landscape for many local governments has improved with the infusion of federal aid and stronger economic activity,” DiNapoli said. “The relief funds are temporary, so it is critical that local communities make changes, including carefully managing debt and engaging in long-term planning, that help improve their financial outlook for years down the road.”
Ten villages and two cities were deemed to be in fiscal stress in all of New York, part of a report that assessed hundreds of local-level municipal governments and their financial picture. The report surveyed 522 villages and 17 city governments, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syacuse and Yonkers.
New York benefitted from billions of dollars in aid from the federal government meant to boost budgets following the financial fallout of the COVID pandemic and the closure of many businesses and public gathering spaces in response to the crisis.
The city of Amsterdam in Montgomery County was the only city in the state to deemed to be in “moderate” fiscal stress in the state. The overview assesses how much money local governments have saved, cash flow and short-term borrowing, as well as local factors such as employment, school districts’ finances, poverty and joblessness.