Issues: Taxes

WHEC-TV 10 Talks To Senator Robach

On Wednesday April 6th, I spoke with Brett Davidsen from WHEC-TV, Channel 10, regarding a man from Rochester who was filing fake tax returns from his prison cell. This is unacceptable and outrageous. To see last night's story, click on the link below.


April 7, 2011

Free income-tax help available

Those scrambling to meet the fast-approaching April 18 tax deadline should be careful they don't miss out on the free and low-cost tax-preparation services being offered across Staten Island. Any taxpayers who have yet to file taxes and have an annual income of $57,000 or less can take advantage of the following opportinities for help: The Food Bank for New York City has two locations on Staten Island offering free help with taxes in both English and Spanish. The location at 1546 Castleton Ave., Port Richmond, is offering help on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between noon and 7 p.m.; the phone number is 646-315-7703. The other location is on the second floor of the Sovereign Bank at 15 Hyatt St., St George.

April 6, 2011


The School Tax Relief Program, or STAR, was sponsored by the New York State Senate to provide a partial exemption from school property taxes for New York State residents who own homes. Since it was enacted in 1997, STAR has saved homeowners more than $21.5 billion. Now that STAR is fully implemented, more than three million homeowners will save nearly $4.7 billion this year.

For more information, click here for my STAR Q&A brochure.

April 5, 2011

Senator Gallivan's 2011 Budget Statement

Senator Gallivan speaks on this year's Budget, the process and its effects on the 59th district.

April 4, 2011

State Budget Closes $10 Billion Deficit, Restores Fiscal Responsibility, Builds Road to Job Creation With No New Taxes, No Borrowing.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson),  chairman of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee today said  the budget about to be enacted restored an orderly and open budget negotiation process, brought back fiscal responsibility to the state, closes a $10 billion budget deficit and creates a road to job creation and economic recovery, all with no new taxes or borrowing.

“This budget,” LaValle said, “reaches its financial goals with no new taxes and no borrowing and will cut next year's projected budget deficit from $15 billion to about $2 billion.”

School Aid     

March 30, 2011

Fishermen Off the Hook: Saltwater License Law Repealed in State Budget

The State Legislature has reached an agreement with the Governor to repeal the 2009 Saltwater Fishing License New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) said today.

The license law, LaValle said,  will be transformed into a registration requirement to meet federal law. In addition, the registration is guaranteed to be free for the next two years and those who purchased lifetime licenses will be granted a refund minus the fee for the past year.

"I voted against the license law and fee when it was part of the 2009 budget and am happy to see the demise of what was essentially a hidden tax,” said LaValle. 

The agreement must still be ratified in the State Budget, which is expected to be approved shortly.

March 24, 2011


Sen. Runciman: Inspection Tax Could Hurt Tourism, Border Communities State Senator Patty Ritchie and Canadian Senator Bob Runciman are urging their legislative colleagues  to join them in condemning a U.S. proposal that could cripple tourism in border communities like Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay,  damage U.S. – Canadian relations and hurt the economies of communities across Northern and Central New York. “The federal government’s scheme to impose a $5.50 ‘inspection tax’ on Canadians who visit the U.S. by sea or air is an insult to America’s largest trading partner and one of our closest allies,” Senator Ritchie said.

March 22, 2011

IDC Calls for End to Deferral of Key Upstate Development Program

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit to Leverage $461 M in Upstate Investment; Create 1,600+ Jobs

The Independent Democratic Conference today called for the full reinstatement of an economic development program that would create more than $460 million in private investment and more than 1,600 good-paying jobs in Upstate New York.

March 16, 2011

Grisanti Votes "Yes" to Repeal Anti-Job IDA Tax: Bill Passes Through Senate

Bill Mirrors Proposal in Executive Budget

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.2682), sponsored by Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), to repeal a burdensome tax on local economic development agencies that hinders job growth and economic investment. The tax, first enacted in 2009, provides a direct obstacle to the ability of Industrial Development Agencies and Authorities (IDAs) to invest in new projects, support local businesses and create jobs.

"One of my campaign promises was to create jobs and cut  taxes,"  said Senator Grisanti. "By repealing this burdensome tax from 2009, we are promoting job growth in Western New York and across the state," said Grisanti.

March 10, 2011

State Senate repeals “cost recovery” tax; Passes bill to relieve economic development agencies from unfair tax

Albany, N.Y. – The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S.2682) that repeals the “cost recovery” tax imposed on local economic development agencies in 2009 and also requires the State to reimburse agencies for any monies previously paid.

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer introduced the bill in the State Senate.

March 9, 2011

Senator Martins: We Need Immediate Mandate Relief

It has been a busy week in Albany. We continue the process of examining the state budget. These are difficult financial times but working together, we will ultimately succeed in cutting expenses and providing a framework for real long-term relief. In order for us to improve our state's fiscal health, we need to provide residents with property tax relief, create jobs and control spending.

March 7, 2011


State Senator Mike Nozzolio has successfully called for the withdrawal of an outrageous new tax proposal that would require every bicycle in the State to be licensed.

The proposed legislation, introduced in the New York City-controlled State Assembly, would have created even more unnecessary regulations and fees for taxpayers by mandating that all bicycles be registered and forced to pass inspection.

March 4, 2011

MANDATE RELIEF SHOULD DELIVER TAX RELIEF The Governor’s Mandate Relief Preliminary Report falls short of providing real relief

Shortly after taking office, the Governor announced the creation of the Mandate Relief Redesign Team  and charged  them with the task of reviewing existing state mandates and identifying mandates that are ineffective and outdated.  I was encouraged that the Governor made it abundantly clear that the path to tax relief needed, in part, to be achieved through mandate relief.

March 3, 2011

Property Tax and Mandate Relief For New Yorkers

The Senate passed a property tax cap as well as a spending cap on state spending are is exploring mandate relief to ease the burden on taxpayers.

February 28, 2011

FREE Tax Preparation Day

The City University of New York in conjunction with NYS Senator Jose Peralta, NYS Assemblymember Francisco Moya, NYC Councilmember Julissa Ferreras and Food Bank For New York City invite you to attend

FREE* Tax Preparation Day

*Qualified people will get their taxes completed for FREE. Income limits:

$50,000 with dependents
$18,000 without dependents

In order to take advantage of this opportunity you MUST have the following:

March 12, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Free Tax Filing for Eligible Taxpayers

Citizens who earned $58,000 or less in 2010 or served on active military duty may be eligible for free tax preparation services. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is urging eligible taxpayers to use FreeFile, a program providing user friendly software that makes it easy to claim all the credits and deductions to which you are entitled. In addition, your taxes will be E-Filed, meaning quicker and more accurate processing and faster returns. Go to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website at and click on FreeFile for more information.

February 23, 2011

STAR Program

If you own your home, and are turning 65 or older anytime during 2011, and meet the income requirements, you may qualify for the “Enhanced” STAR program that can help reduce your school taxes this year. Enhanced STAR offers a bigger break on your property taxes than Basic STAR, which is available to most other homeowners.

You must apply for this important property tax relief benefit, and the deadline is March 1, 2011 in most towns and cities. (Exceptions include Utica, which has a deadline of Aug. 1; and Rome, with a deadline of July 26. But you can still send in your application now.) You won’t have to reapply every year if you enroll in the optional Income Verification Program.

February 17, 2011
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