BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM), New York state's local revenue sharing program, peaked in 2010 when the state earmarked $1.1 billion for cities, towns and villages.

However, by 2012 that number was down to roughly $715 million where it has essentially stayed since.

"Nothing has stayed flat in 12 years. Nothing has stayed flat in the last three years, let alone in 12 years," state Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said.

Once again, in this year's executive budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul is proposing holding AIM funding at the same level. Ortt said even in tight fiscal times, the governor seems to be able to find money for other priorities but not local governments.

"There are things that we should be spending money on at the state level and one of the things we could help out local taxpayers, local folks is by raising the AIM," he said.

Association of Towns Executive Director Gerry Geist said municipalities are also dealing with inflation and are hamstrung by the state's tax cap and unfunded mandates.

"We can't even keep up with health insurance, cost of supplies, cost of personnel because we're not getting any increases, Geist said.

Advocates for the municipalities say they will lobby the governor and lawmakers for more funding as the process continues.

"I think we will be able to ensure that we're advocating on behalf on the cities and villages across New York state in making sure that we have the resources we need in this year's budget," New York Conference of Mayors President Kathy Sheehan said.

Ortt pointed out, just this year, the governor is proposing $2.4 billion to New York City, including $500 million from the state's reserves, to help with its migrant crisis.

"New York City always gets theirs even when it's not theirs and then we're going to tell small cities who are doing everything right, by the books, the best they can, who are no doubt going to be in fiscal crunches as we go into this budget year, this line has been flat," he said.

Geist said in the past, municipalities have asked for as much as a $200 million increase but this year any increase would be welcomed both symbolically and tangibly by the cities, towns and villages.