In its Wednesday, February 15th session, the Greene County Legislature unanimously adopted Resolution No. 54-23 calling on the Governor and NYS Legislature to continue the practice of passing through enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (eFMAP) funds to county governments, a precedent that has been in place for over 20 years. This action was made in response to the fact that the State Budget proposal for fiscal year 2024 would end this practice, enabling the State to keep all of these federal savings going forward.
The elimination of eFMAP funding would saddle the 57 counties outside of the City of New York with an additional $270 million in Medicaid costs in fiscal year 2024, and approximately $1 billion when NYC is included.
In a recent news release, Michael E. Zurio, President of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) noted: “Not only does this proposal harm New York’s local taxpayers, but it also subverts Congress’ intent that eFMAP be shared with local governments that contribute to the Medicaid program. In March of 2020, New York Senator Charles Schumer championed that “Enhanced FMAP funds are so important because they are immediate and flexible. The state – which gets billions and the most of any state in the nation – and counties use the money they save on whatever they want.”
He went on to add: “At a time when New York is facing an affordability crisis, the last thing the Governor should do is burden local taxpayers with more costs that will drive up the cost of homeownership and rent, increase business expenses and make New York more unaffordable.”
“Unfortunately, this type of ‘money-grab’ by the State is not unprecedented”, states Patrick S. Linger -Chair of the Greene County Legislature. “Back in 2019, New York State began diverting local sales taxes that should fund local programs and services, redirecting them to pay for state responsibilities. In 2022, we joined with NYSAC to call on Governor Hochul to end this practice, and now her proposed budget is seeking to divert federal assistance funds.”
Dave Lucas, the director of finance and intergovernmental relations for NYSAC points out that “The typical county will see a 5.2% property tax increase, 20% of counties will see a 7% increase, and some [will] get into double digits.”
“The Greene County Legislature strongly disagrees with the need to cut county funding so deeply when the Governor’s budget proposes to fully fund its own reserves two years ahead of schedule, depositing $5.4 billion by the end of this fiscal year” comments Legislator Matthew Luvera, Majority Leader.
“Keeping Greene County property taxes affordable is our constant concern,” says Legislator Harry Lennon, Minority Leader. “Proposals that mandate local governments to fund state & federal programs must be continuously challenged in order to keep our economy strong and support the quality of life of all who live and work here.”
Ensure that the County’s collective voice is heard to advocate for maintaining the pass-thru of federal eFMAP funds to Greene County. You can take action by calling, texting, emailing or tweeting to Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, State Senator Michelle Hinchey, Assemblyman Chris Tague, US Senators Chuck Schumer & Kirsten Gillibrand, and US Representative Marc Molinaro.