The Governor’s budget is a very sober assessment of the state of New York’s finances. I’m pleased that he has recognized the seriousness of our budget problem. I’m also glad to see that his answer is to not tax his way out of the recession.
Having said that, I am very concerned over some of the specific cuts to the 7th Senate District. On the face of it, our schools, hospitals and local governments are looking at devastating hits that will have a profound impact on families in the communities I represent. Right now, we have schools who may have to do away with local diplomas and have already cut Summer School and critical programming to our young people. These are real issues that have consequences.
Senator Jack M. Martins, chair of the Standing Committee on Local Government, and Senator John Flanagan, chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, will be co-sponsoring a hearing on mandate relief. “The True Path to Reducing New York’s Real Property Tax Burden: Mandate Relief and Tax Caps” will focus on the issues of Real Property Tax Reductions, Mandate Relief, and how the State of New York can accomplish both. The two Committees will be soliciting testimony on what policies and mechanisms can be used to accomplish these goals, as well as what impacts such policies and mechanisms will have upon taxpayers, local governments, school districts, labor, businesses and jobs.
Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building
To gather expert testimony on the most effective way for New York State to proceed in its efforts to provide tax relief to its residents while protecting valuable services, Senator Jack M. Martins, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, and Senator John Flanagan, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, hosted a joint hearing entitled “The True Path to Reducing New York’s Real Property Tax Burden: Mandate Relief and Tax Caps”.
Senator Jack M. Martins, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, and Senator John Flanagan, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, co-chaired a public hearing on mandate relief at the Nassau County Courthouse on Thursday, February 17. The hearing featured guest speakers who testified on the importance of mandate relief and what it would mean in terms of easing the property tax burden.
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and members of the Senate Majority Conference today released a revenue forecast by the Senate Finance Committee that estimates additional General Fund revenues, above the Executive’s projection, of $438 million in 2011-12, offset by $23 million less than the Executive’s estimate for state fiscal year 2010-11.
The revenue projection, based on an economic forecast by the Senate’s nationally recognized fiscal consultants, IHS Global Insight, shows that the total two-year General Fund revenue surplus is $415 million.
I often say that many elected officials in Albany look at the state from 30,000 feet. They see the quilt pattern of the various terrains, they see communities, but they don't see people. Much the same way, many of these same elected officials oftentimes make decisions without having an understanding as to how the decisions will impact people directly. I don't believe that there is any sinsiter motive, just a lack of perspective and understanding.
The New York State Senate passed its budget resolution - - a fiscally sound plan that reduces spending, rejects tax increases and makes responsible investments in New York’s future.
The Senate budget largely mirrors the priorities outlined in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget and will serve as a real roadmap to the enactment of a responsible, on-time budget.
“Today’s passage of our Senate budget puts us on a path to strengthening New York this year and for the future. By controlling spending, reducing taxes and focusing on helping the private sector create jobs, Senate Republicans have shown that we’re listening to the calls of hard-working, middle-class New Yorkers and their families,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said.
The New York State Senate Majority introduced comprehensive budget reform legislation this week that would create a non-partisan budget office and require the adoption of multi-year financial plans based on sound accounting practices. The bill, introduced during national Sunshine Week, would significantly enhance independence and accountability in the budget process.
If you think back to the budget crisis of a year ago and the discussions today, there truly is a marked difference. In both, the state was grappling with a devastating fiscal crisis, but this year the commitment was made to reduce spending as opposed to continuing the cycle of ever more taxes and spending. That was the norm in Albany from both sides of the aisle for far too long. We all remember the more than $14 billion in taxes, fees and surcharges the past two years on like payroll, electricity, natural gas, and bottled water.
Senator Jack M. Martins had the distinction of being the last Senator to speak on the budget. The budget, he said, addresses a balance between services that are necessary while providing relief for the residents of New York State who have been taxed to the breaking point.