Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren went to Albany today (Mon), looking to change state revenue sharing policies. That's something the city's last three mayors tried to do without success.
Warren asked for an increase in the city's so-called AIM Aid, a form of state revenue sharing with local governments. She says Rochester is the only upstate city that has to pay more for its schools than it gets in AIM Aid from state government. The city is mandated to pay the school district $119 million a year, but it gets only a little more than $88 million from the state.
Warren says being caught in this trap is why the city runs a $35 million revenue shortage every year, a shortage that Syracuse and Buffalo don't have to face because their AIM Aid payments completely cover what they have to pay for their school systems.
Warren also asked for another $50 million in state funding for the ROC the Riverway project along the Genesee River in downtown Rochester. And she asked for reforms in the state utilities tax which taxes landlines but not cellphone accounts. Warren says cellphone calls should be taxes and the money should go to the local governments where the callers live.