I recently sent out a survey asking constituents of my Senate District their opinions on important budget issues facing our state. Below, you will find a link to the results of this survey.
As you can see, my constituents overwhelmingly want state government to control its spending. I do too. During the budget hearings as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I aggressively advocated for this position.
I am pleased to tell you that the budget not only was on time but it calls for less spending than last year. This is the first time in more than 15 years that state spending will decrease.
This week, I discuss the role of the Joint Conference Committee Meetings in achieving an April 1st Budget. I also talk about some of the key issues in this year’s Budget process, including education, property taxes and mandate relief, and Medicaid.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) and his colleagues passed legislation (S.3164) yesterday to create “Recharge NY,” a program that would provide low-cost power to help businesses create and retain jobs.
“This bill will provide businesses with a permanent solution for low-cost electricity. With a permanent solution in place, businesses will have the stability they need to make long-term plans for their businesses, and they will be able to create jobs,” said Senator DeFrancisco.
“The current Power for Jobs program requires businesses to receive extensions each year, which makes it impossible to plan for the future,” said Senator DeFrancisco.
I want to remind you that the deadline for New York State’s School Tax Relief Program (STAR) is March 1, 2011. STAR is a tax relief program that lowers property taxes for owner-occupied primary residences. There are two levels of STAR benefits: Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR. Basic STAR is available to residents who own and live in their own 1- ,2- , or 3-family house, condominium, or cooperative apartment and earn less than $500,000 a year. There is no age limit for Basic STAR. For qualifying homeowners, Basic STAR exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes. Once you are approved for Basic STAR, you need not reapply each year unless you move to a new primary residence.