I think people in neighboring states could hear New Yorkers breathe a collective sigh of relief this past week as we finally began to see the effects of our new tax cap. More than anything else, property taxes have been the overriding issue in New York for many years, especially since they’ve grown on average more than 6 percent a year for ten years, double the rate of inflation. So, after leading the nation in runaway increases for so long, we finally hit the brakes in 2011 with a tax cap that had bi-partisan support in both houses of the legislature. With limited exceptions, it holds increases in school and local property taxes to two percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
During West Point Day in Albany on April 26, Senator Jack M. Martins recognized a special guest, Sergeant First Class Robert W. Frame of Albertson. Sergeant Frame, a 1998 graduate of Mineola High School, enlisted in the Army in 1998. His proud parents are Walter and Kathleen. Public service runs in the family as Walter is active in the Albertson Fire Department and involved with the Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY).
“Sergeant Frame represents something larger than himself. Those who serve like Sergeant Frame serve on so many different levels. It is that multi-generational commitment to serving others that is the backbone of our communities. It’s an honor to recognize Sergeant Frame and his family,” Senator Martins said on the floor of the Senate.
Taxpayers whose state and/or federal income tax returns indicate they will receive a tax refund this year can use the Internet to find out when their refund will arrive.
Both the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allow taxpayers to track the status of tax refunds online through their respective websites. Taxpayers can utilize both refund tracking services approximately 72 hours after they file their tax returns electronically or four weeks after they mail a paper return.
Senator Jack M. Martins attended the Mineola Junior Fire Department 10th Annual Installation Dinner on April 21. The officers installed included Captain Christopher Strauss, Lieutenant Matthew Barroca and Lieutenant Daniel Dempsey. Ex-captain Mike Fernandes was named the Junior Firefighter of the Year.
The Mineola Junior Fire Department has been highly successful in producing future firfighters in large part to the guidance provided by advisors Bill Gresalfi, Gary Mazur, Scott Strauss, Rob Connolly, Lou Santosus, Jack Fernandes, Joseph Tartaglia, Rich Ueland, Atnhony Natale, Michael Stack, Bryan Strauss, Jack Wolf and Tyler Wolf. Other members of the department who provide crucial support are Chief Joe Pratt and Steven "Chief" Stolarik.
As sure as the swallows return to Capistrano, you know it must be spring in New York City when the mayoral candidates declare war on the suburbs. No sooner did we repeal the onerous MTA payroll tax than candidate, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, trotted out his plan for a new and improved commuter tax. I know, I know, it’s not really new. Multiple candidates in every mayoral race suggest it, but Mr. Stringer gets the prize for being the first this year. It’s a sharp political move for them when you think about it: advocate for a tax on those who can’t vote for (or against) you anyway.
Senator Jack M. Martins, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, recently presented a Senate Resolution in honor of Diana Merenda for her years of service as Mayor of the Village of Plandome Heights.
Diana faithfully served the village, first as a member of the Planning Board, then as a village trustee and, since 2008, as Mayor. She decided to retire this year.
Senator Martins presented Diana with a copy of the resolution, which was adopted by the New York State Senate on March 20, in front of her family at a meeting of the Nassau County Legislature. During that meeting, Legislator Judi Bosworth also presented Diana with a Legislative Citation.
Senator Jack M. Martins welcomed Rabbi Michael White, members of the professional staff and a group of young leaders from Temple Sinai of Roslyn in Roslyn Heights to Albany. Rabbi White and the young men and women visited the State Capitol to speak about issues that are important to the youth, including bullying and cyberbullying, which Rabbi White called a “corrosive epidemic.”
Volunteers from Elmont, Franklin Square, South Floral Park, Bellerose Terrace, New Hyde Park, Floral Park and North Valley Stream jammed the Elmont Library this past Saturday for a planning session of the Martins Classic 3on3 Basketball Tournament. The tournament is in its 9th year and is being sponsored by State Senator Jack Martins. Joining him in sponsoring the event is State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The tournament is being held at Dutch Broadway School in Elmont on July 14th.
Each day, including weekends, I receive emails from the Senate Communications Office that contain news stories from media outlets around the state. The emails cover just about everything that would be of interest to state senators and we’re asked to review them to keep abreast of developing issues. I actually kind of enjoy reading most of them. It’s like having all the key issues conveniently delivered every morning and it makes my job that much easier.
Senator Jack M. Martins recently congratulated Chris Johnston on completing his documentary film, “Take the Challenge Now,” which examined how everyone can play their part in protecting the environment.
Chris, a sophomore at Chaminade High School, spent the past four years working on the documentary, which took him as far as Sweden to conduct interviews on environmental issues. As a resident of Manhasset, Chris also focused on Manhasset Bay and found some good news with regard to the cleanliness of the bay. This could be due to storm water treatment as well organizations such as the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee.
In an effort to assist veterans from New York State in establishing businesses, New York State Senator Jack M. Martins has introduced a bill in the New York State Senate (S.6627) to promote the participation of veteran-owned businesses in the performance of state contracts.
Under Senator Martins’ bill, three percent of all contracts from state contracting agencies would be awarded to veteran-owned businesses, ensuring that certified, veteran-owned businesses be given the opportunity to participate in the performance of state contracts. A veteran-owned business is described an a business enterprise that is at least 51 percent owned by a veteran who is a resident of New York State and has served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces.
On Sunday, April 29, the annual Helen's Walk, presented by the Helen Keller National Center for deaf-blind youths and adults, will take place throughout the beautiful Sands Point. Check-in time and registration for the 5K/3.1-mile walk will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. with the official start at 9:15 a.m.
The walk will start at the Sands Point Park & Preserve, 127 Middle Neck Road in Sands Point and end at the Helen Keller National Center at 141 Middle Neck Road in Sands Point.
For more information on Helen's Walk to support the Helen Keller National Center, visit www.hknc.org.
Senator Jack M. Martins will be hosting the New York University College of Dentistry "Smiling Faces, Going Places" Mobile Dental Care Program to provide oral health screenings to children and adults in the Seventh Senate District on Saturday, April 21 from 11 am to 3 pm at the Roberta Nixon Housing, 72 Harbor Homes, Port Washington, New York 11050.
The dental team will provide oral screenings, which include a general inspection of the mouth. No dental treatment will be rendered. At the conclusion of the screening, each patient will receive a "goodie bag" filled with a new toothbrush, toothpaste and oral healthcare information.
New Yorkers said, “Play it Again, Sam,” and we did. For the second consecutive year, your state government produced an on-time budget that puts the breaks on state spending and does not increase taxes or fees. You heard that correctly: holds spending in check with no new taxes or fees.
It is indeed a new era in Albany. For the second straight year, the State Legislature and the Governor agreed on an on-time budget that doesn’t raise any taxes or fees while eliminating a $2 billion deficit.
“The state is in infinitely better shape now than it was two years ago when state government was is disarray. We now have passed two consecutive budgets that represent sound fiscal management. For years, the state outspent its resources and then passed the burden onto the taxpayers. Over the last two years, we sent a clear message that those days are over,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who is in his first term in the Senate.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced an additional and accelerated $40,686,000 investment for nine NY Works projects that will repair 86 miles of roads and six bridges on Long Island. For the transportation component of NY Works, the Department of Transportation (DOT) reviewed its Capital Program and identified those projects, which can be accelerated by utilizing either the conventional design-bid-build project delivery mechanism or the newly-enacted design-build project delivery method.
It started out simple enough. Since taking office I’ve had a small but steady stream of constituents who seek help with various mortgage and foreclosure problems. I regularly connect them to appropriate state agencies and having heard back about a number of successful resolutions, I decided to host a local seminar for anyone experiencing similar issues. I invited the New York Attorney General’s (AG’s) Office, the state’s Department of Financial Services, and even some of the larger lenders.
The New York State Senate passed legislation that gives judges the ability to consider well-established risk factors in determining bail or recognizance in domestic violence cases so that a victim and their family can be further protected from an assailant.
The bill (S.1414A) would allow the history of violence or threats of violence, prior orders of protection, and the accused’s access to guns to be considered by a judge, potentially affecting their release conditions and sparing many victims and their children additional harm or even death.
“This measure will add protection to victims of domestic violence who should be able to rely on the courts for greater protection,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who supported the measure.
Senator Jack M. Martins has been visiting schools throughout the Seventh Senate District to present “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” a program his office started to engage elementary schools in the process of state government. Most recently, he visited the St. Mary's School in Manhasset to speak to fifth grade students about how a bill becomes a law.
Senator Martins told the students that it all starts with an idea and then involves building consensus through the legislature, which includes the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly. If the bill passes both houses, it is sent to the Governor, who can sign the bill into law or veto it.
2012-13 State Budget Reduces Spending, Does Not Raise Taxes, Creates Jobs
For the second consecutive year, the New York State Senate has completed an early passage of the state budget. The 2012-13 state budget achieves the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs. The new state fiscal year begins April 1.