December 13, 2007. This testimony describes the special problems faced by New York localities with relatively weak tax bases compared to their needs. To a large extent, state fiscal policies have caused great pressure on property taxes in needy cities, counties and school districts, including decisions: to reduce revenue sharing; to decrease the share of local school budgets covered by state aid, to divide the non-federal share of Medicaid costs without considering ability to pay, and to allocate STAR benefits in a way that exacerbates fiscal disparities.