Budget Plan Focuses on Tax Relief, Lower Business Taxes and Restoring EPIC
Senator John Bonacic (R/C/I – Mount Hope) joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate this week to pass the 2012-13 Senate Budget resolution that controls state spending, avoids new taxes, fees and unfunded mandates and helps create new jobs.
“The Senate budget, at just under $132.5 billion, keeps the total state spending increase below two percent, and spends slightly less than the Executive Budget,” said Senator John Bonacic. “The budget closes a $2 billion budget deficit and builds on last year’s successes in putting the state’s fiscal house in order. The Senate budget resolution is right in line with our priorities to cut taxes, control spending and create jobs. I am confident that we will be able to work with the Governor and Assembly to get a new budget enacted well before the deadline that includes our priorities.”
The Senate budget also includes a comprehensive job creation plan that would cut taxes on businesses; as well as provide additional aid to schools, more mandate relief for localities, tuition help for middle class families and, for senior citizens, more property tax relief and greater assistance for prescription drug costs.
Highlights of the Senate’s fiscally responsible budget resolution include the following:
A. JOB CREATION & HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES
1. Enacting a two percent state spending cap.
2. A new job creating incentive would give businesses a tax credit of up to $5,000 for each new job they create; or up to an $8,000 credit if the job goes to someone on unemployment; or up to a $10,000 credit if a business hires a returning military veteran.
3. Accelerating the end of the 500 percent energy tax increase imposed by Senate Democrats from the current expiration date in 2014 to 2013 will save $300 million dollars, especially for energy-intensive industries such as manufacturing and agriculture.
4. > A 10 percent tax credit for 800,000 small businesses that pay under the personal income tax will save them $120 million
B. MANDATE & PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
The Senate budget resolution rejects any proposed mandates and costs shifts to localities. It also includes municipal finance reform incentive aid to provide property tax relief for homeowners and mandate relief for localities including reforms to the pension system.
C. AID TO EDUCATION
The Senate budget restores $200 million in school aid cuts mainly targeted to low wealth and upstate rural districts by reallocating proposed spending.
D. ASSISTANCE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Under the Senate budget plan, senior citizens eligible for the Enhanced STAR program would receive $275 million in direct property tax rebate checks.
In addition, $48.2 million would be used to restore the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC) to reduce copayments for seniors to a maximum of $20.
E. MEDICAID REFORM
The Senate plan accelerates the Governor’s proposal to freeze the growth of the local contribution of Medicaid expenditures by beginning the phase-in period in 2012 (Executive proposes 2013), saving counties $170 million over the next two years.