Posts Tagged ‘NYS Budget’

Saturday, April 4, 2020

NYS Budget Capital Projects Good for Adirondacks

The Adirondack Council thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Legislative leaders April 1 for much-needed environmental capital projects that were slated to be approved in the NYS Budget agreement.

They included a $3-billion “Restore Mother Nature” bond act and a $300-million Environmental Protection Fund that includes money to address overuse and preserve the most popular wilderness areas, trails and destinations in the Adirondack Park.

Given the challenges the Governor and Legislature are facing with the coronavirus outbreak, this is a very good budget for the Adirondacks.  We understand that there may still be some need to economize as state revenues may be affected by the current public health crisis.  This budget recognizes that clean water, open space, wildlife and a healthy environment remain priorities no matter what other challenges we are facing.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Viewpoint: Require APA To Track Climate Data, Trends

APA Building in Ray Brook NYHow has the Adirondack Park Agency fared under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 executive budget proposals? The question hasn’t received any media attention for obvious reasons. It’s a mini state agency, budget-wise.

With a proposed operating budget of $5 million – just .004 percent of the proposed state budget of $137 billion – APA hardly raises fiscal eyebrows.  Budgeted for 54 full time staff, APA employs .03 percent of all state employees.

Yet, the Adirondack Park comprises one-fifth the acreage of New York State. It’s constitutionally protected wild lands are honored as a National Landmark and International Biosphere Reserve. It’s subject to one of the country’s earliest and largest regional land use planning laws. But the Park has just one legislatively authorized planning agency, the APA, congruent with all six-million acres. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Adirondack Wild: More Trail Crews, Rangers, Test Permit System

adirondack wildWhile applauding large portions of Governor Cuomo’s proposed environmental budget, including support for the Governor’s Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, the nonprofit Adirondack Forest Preserve advocates Adirondack Wild submitted testimony to the State Legislature which calls for additional DEC Forest Rangers and trail crews and the testing of a pilot reservation system to reduce congestion and damage to the High Peaks Wilderness. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Adirondack Council Reviews Gov’s Budget Plans

NYS capital buildingThe Adirondack Council applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for proposing State Budget funding that will combat climate change, protect clean water and preserve Wilderness, build more resilient trails and make the park more welcoming place for all state residents.

On top of the newly announced $3-billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act proposal, the Governor’s plan adds another $500 million investment in clean water project funding, in addition to the $500 million previously announced for this year’s budget. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

John Sheehan: Adirondacks and the NYS Budget

NYS CapitolConservationists had much to applaud after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature passed a State Budget that will protect clean water, buy new park land, resist invasive species, build more resilient trails and make the park more welcoming place for all state residents.

Conservationist also had a right to wonder why the budget included no additional staff at key agencies, and why the state didn’t pass comprehensive legislation requiring the state to meet new carbon emissions goals. The budget did include funding for some climate initiatives. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

John Sheehan On The Adirondack Council’s Budget Priorities

adirondack council new logoWhile applauding the state’s efforts to boost tourism, protect clean water and fight climate change, on Wednesday the Adirondack Council called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to protect the Adirondack Forest Preserve against overuse, all-terrain vehicle trespass and other threats. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Viewpoint: New Cuomo Budget Misses Major Adirondack Priorities

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently released draft budget for 2019-2020 is disappointing because it misses some major priorities for the Adirondack environment and communities.

Major issues across the Adirondacks, such as increased funding for the High Peaks Wilderness to build a sustainable trail network, more Forest Rangers, or a larger Environmental Protection Fund to meet major challenges of climate change, were all ignored in this budget. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dave Gibson: Push for DEC Personnel Increases, Again

Forest Rangers lead search and rescueI listened to NCPR’s Brian Mann recent report about NYS DEC Forest Ranger staffing, and the great pressures on the static ranger staff resulting from so many emergency incidents. DEC Commissioner Seggos’ remarks appeared to be resistant to the need for additional Forest Rangers. He was quoted as saying that the entire DEC staff must rally to help to relieve the pressures on the Rangers and – I would add – on all natural resource professionals at the DEC. In other words, don’t worry members of the media, members of the public, we always do more with less.

In my experience, this Commissioner is very responsive to issues facing him and pays attention to detail. I also know he supports his people in the field. However, it was important for him to hear the support for more DEC Forest Rangers from local government representatives, like Wilmington Town Supervisor and Essex County Board of Supervisors chair Randy Preston. The supervisor was persistent because he knows what we all know: that the DEC Commissioner has no authority to increase the number of rangers, or foresters, or wildlife or fisheries, or operations or campground professionals. The urgent message that DEC natural resource and lands and forests and ranger personnel are at the breaking point must get to the Governor. Local government officials make excellent messengers. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 6, 2018

‘Unusual but Effective Coalition’ Killed Forest Preserve Tax Changes

Assemblyman Dan Stec questions DEC commissioner about the proposed tax cap at a February 27 budget hearing in Albany. At left on the panel, Senator Betty Little.

A controversial proposal to replace state tax payments on Forest Preserve lands with negotiated “payments in lieu of taxes” was jettisoned in the final rounds of state budget talks.

“I am both relieved and grateful that the budget does not change New York’s current method of paying taxes on state-owned lands to localities,” State Senator Betty Little said on March 31, shortly after the budget was adopted. “It would have overturned a practice, now more than a century old and clearly defined in statute, unfairly costing the local taxpayers. Getting this out of the budget was a priority for me and I’m very pleased we’ve gotten the result so many wanted.”

The state’s payments to Adirondack towns, schools and special districts in the form of property taxes on Forest Preserve lands, which some have been estimated to be as high as $80 million a year, are therefore likely to continue, at least for the time being. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Adk Council’s Budget Analysis Finds Good in Lean Year

NYS CapitolOn Friday of last week, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature approved a 168.3 billion dollar budget, within the context of what was considered to be a lean budget year.

In spite of the budgetary challenges the Governor and Legislature faced this year, core environmental funds were upheld, including the Environmental Protection Fund and community water infrastructure funding approved over the last few years.

The final approved budget contained a mixed bag when it came to more detailed aspects of the budget; some were good, and some were bad. What follows is a review of the state budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year: » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Scott van Laer On Budget, Forest Ranger Staffing

arthur perrymanThe April 1st New York State budget deadline is quickly approaching, debate and negotiations will be in high gear for the next week over the approximately $160 billion spending plan.

While the budget and staffing levels within the Department of Environmental Conservation have been on life support for a decade now, the Police Benevolent Association of New York State (PBA of NYS) – the union that represents forest rangers – is advocating for moderate staffing increases based on dramatic increases in the amount of state land, recreational users and search and rescue operations that have occurred in the same time period. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Chlad: Comparing Executive, One-House Budgets

NYS CapitolOn Tuesday, January 16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his proposed budget for the state fiscal year that starts April 1. The tax bill recently approved in Washington, and the need to close a more than $4 billion budget gap have set the backdrop for a challenging budget year. In spite of this, Governor Cuomo presented a budget with a mixed bag of proposals: some good, and some bad.

This week, the Senate and Assembly passed their respective one-house budget bills, marking the beginning of three-way negotiations. They have announced their intent to pass a budget by March 29th, in hopes that they can finish the budget before Easter and Passover. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

NYS Assembly Cuts Forest Preserve Tax Changes

NYS CapitolThe NYS Assembly left Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed Forest Preserve property tax changes out of its one-house budget bill late Monday night. The Assembly budget bill, a statement of priorities for the State Assembly, is expected to go to a vote later this week. The State Senate is expected to release its own one-house budget this week as well.

Cuomo’s budget proposes a cap on Forest Preserve property tax assessments and changes to state law from the current system of locally assessed property taxes to a system of Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs). (First reported by Anthony Hall here at the Adirondack Almanack.) » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

State Land Tax Cap Could Cost Adirondack Communities

NYS capital buildingThe Cuomo Administration has proposed to cap Forest Preserve property tax assessments and change state law from the current system of locally assessed property taxes to a system of Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) with a rate set by the State Comptroller.

The state is doing this to save money because Forest Preserve assessments and the PILOT for tax payments would be centrally controlled. This proposal raises issues about a likely decrease in state lands tax payments over time and subsequent tax shift to private lands in Forest Preserve communities in the Adirondacks and Catskills. » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Budget Proposal Challenges NYS Tax Payments On Forest Preserve Lands

adk atlas state landsA barely-noticed provision in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget could have lasting consequences for the finances of Adirondack towns and school districts, or so some fear.

“I believe local governments will see this proposal as the cap on payments to their jurisdictions, something they have long feared as the state continues to acquire private land in the Adirondacks,” says Fred Monroe, the executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. » Continue Reading.



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