The Governor and Legislature have come to an agreement on the FY2016-17 New York State budget. The budget bills are still warm (the last one was printed Friday, April 1 at 7:30 am), but it is finalized, and there is good news for library aid in this year’s agreement.
Thanks to your efforts and effective advocacy, we are happy to report the following:
State Library Aid: $95.6M ($4M increase)
This allocation represents a 4.3% increase in total library aid, which is equivalent to the increase in educational foundation aid. This is the most library aid included in any state budget since FY2008-09.
State Library Construction Aid: $19M ($5M increase)
The allocation for the construction aid program was increased by $5M, or 35%, which is the first increase in nearly a decade.
MTA Payroll Tax Reimbursement: $1.3M
As you know, last year we were able to secure a permanent exemption for public libraries and public library systems subject to the MTA payroll tax. This reimbursement reflects the taxes paid in the previous year. It will be the last year this reimbursement is required.
This year’s budget, an election year budget, produced many challenges. The cumulative effect of your advocacy efforts – your letters, phone calls, meeting with your legislators, participation in Advocacy Day – made the difference and allowed us to fare better than many groups. Thank you!