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Letter: WNY receives more than its fair share of state aid

WNY receives more than its fair share of state aid

While watching television recently, I saw a campaign ad containing some distressing misrepresentations. Specifically the ad’s overall message, that New York City is getting more than its fair share of state aid and therefore depriving Western New York of needed assistance, was flat out wrong.

In fact a study done by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute at the State University of New York at Albany revealed that Western New York receives far more state aid than it pays in taxes. This largesse comes from New York City, which (with its immediate suburbs) is the only part of New York State that pays more in state taxes than it receives in state aid.

If one assumes that the various regions of New York State should receive budgetary assistance from Albany in proportion to the state taxes they pay, it can be seen that Western New York receives more state aid, not less, than its state taxes would justify.

Yet I don’t advocate a cut in state aid to Western New York, which clearly needs assistance. I do, however, advocate that the local recipients of such aid, financed by the taxpayers of New York City, acknowledge the truth and even express some gratitude for it.

That has to start with local political leaders telling the truth about who is financing state assistance here, instead of spreading falsehoods that only reinforce incorrect local stereotypes and intrastate resentment.

Daniel H. Trigoboff, Ph.D.


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