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Mayor Warren joins other mayors in Albany seeking additional state funding

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was among the upstate mayors in Albany Monday for what is informally known as the ‘tin cup brigade,’ the day when the mayors of the larger cities go before a committee of lawmakers in Albany making their case for more state aid in the new budget.

Warren again focused on a disparity caused by the amount of money the city is obligated to pay the city school district, and what it gets back in aid from Albany.

Warren says that under a longstanding agreement, Rochester has to pay its school district $119 million each year, which is about $31 million less than the money the city gets in the so-called "AIM” aid,  or Aid and Incentives for Municipalities. Warren asked a legislative committee for that additional $31 million to be included in the new state budget.

“While ensuring all of our city children receive a quality education is a top priority, this disparity forces us to consider cuts to other critical services to balance our budget.”

She says the funding is critical for Rochester to get the funding it needs for other programs.

“By funding this mandate the state will free up city tax levy dollars for improving life outside of the classroom, including investing in public safety, libraries, recreation centers, job training programs, youth intervention services and many more programs.”

Warren also asked the legislators to look at a decline in revenue Rochester is facing because independent energy service companies are not paying a gross receipts tax that the city says they should be paying.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.