Newsroom

Reform likely for property taxes

By Maury Thompson

The long-discussed concept of a "circuit breaker" property tax credit appears headed for approval by the state Legislature this year, area legislators and property tax reform advocates said.

The new credit, an income tax deduction based on a portion of local property taxes homeowners pay, is considered to be just a first step in the overall goal of reforming the property tax system.

May 18, 2009
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Senate Democrats Hold First Open Conference

By Karen DeWitt

 Senate Democrats let journalists into their normally closed door party conference Wednesday, to witness a discussion of ideas to clamp down on the state's highest- in- the- nation property taxes.

Senate Majority Leader Malcom Smith says he hopes to have more open party conferences in the future.

"This is our first one," said Smith. " We hope that we'll get some good feedback from the public."

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May 13, 2009
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Crane Bill Passes Senate

By Dan Rivoli

State Sen. Liz Krueger’s bill that creates new guidelines for the re-inspection of building violations passed the Senate last week.

The bill would force the Department of Buildings to re-inspect a property within 60 days of receiving hazardous work violations. As the law stands, companies deemed hazardous by the city could abuse the self-certification rule that allows them to inform the Department of Buildings that the site is up to code.

May 7, 2009
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Senate Passes Liz Krueger's Major Construction Safety Legislation Including Civil Penalties for Hazardous Violations

Senator Krueger Calls it a Major Victory for Ensuring Public Safety

Albany, NY—New York City won a huge victory for construction and building safety today when the New York State Senate passed a bill creating new guidelines for the re-inspection of all hazardous violations issued by the NYC Department of Buildings (DoB) and civil penalties for hazardous violations.  The bill was sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger whose district was the site of two deadly crane collapses within the last year.

May 6, 2009
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Senator Liz Krueger Calls for Environmental Action on Earth Day

Urges Passage of Key Environmental Legislation

Albany, NY—Today, in support of Earth Day, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), called for New York to take action for the environment.

May 6, 2009
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Select Committee video of public hearing on business tax reform

The Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform hears testimony at a Rochester public hearing, where experts weighted the fairness of New York State's Corporate Franchise Tax and the effectiveness of its tax expenditures in spurring economic growth. The event was held on April 30th.

May 4, 2009
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NO THANK YOU, UNCLE SAM: NYC KEEPS 'SNAP' STANCE

By Chloe Tribich

Among the various groups of people who are qualified by the federal government to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits – SNAP, formerly known as food stamps – there are those who have jobs and those who don't, those who are on welfare and those who aren't, those with and without children, disabled and able-bodied.

May 4, 2009
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Senate Passes Construction Safety Legislation

By David King

The Senate passed a bill today that requires the NYC Department of Buildings to re-inspect construction sites that have been issued hazardous violations . There is currently no mandate in place for the buildings department to re-inspect sites that have dangerous code violations and therefore companies have little motivation to correct the problems.

April 29, 2009
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SENATE HOLDS ROCHESTER HEARING ON CORPORATE FRANCHISE TAX REFORM

Fiscal Policy Institute, Unshackle Upstate, and others to testify on creating a fairer business tax code

April 28, 2009
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Select Committee video of public hearing on personal income tax reform

The Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform hears testimony examining concerns over fairness and volatility in New York State's personal income tax system. The public hearing, which explored progressive changes to the personal income tax system, was held on March 12 in Albany.

April 24, 2009
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Staff Report to the New York State Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform on Exploring Progressive Changes to New York State’s Personal Income Tax System

The State Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform has received a staff report detailing the key findings and conclusions from its first public hearing on March 12. 

File: 
Staff Report to the Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform

April 24, 2009
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Property tax cap pushed

By Paul Post

 A broad coalition of groups is pushing an Omnibus Bill whose main component, a “circuit breaker,” would cap people’s property taxes based on their income.

Led by state Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, backers touted the proposed legislation at a press conference in Albany.

Supporters include New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, a fiscal watchdog group, whose executive director, Ronald Deutsch, lives in Greenfield.

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April 24, 2009
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Testimony from March 12 public hearing on New York State's personal income tax system

On March 12, 2009, the Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform held its first public hearing in Albany to explore progressive changes to New York State's personal income tax system. The Select Committee heard oral testimony from 10 experts and collected written testimony from several other interested parties.

Below are links for the transcript of the public hearing and the testimony that was submitted to the Select Committee. The Select Committee's staff will issue a report detailing the key findings and conclusions from the testimony.

April 23, 2009
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Public Hearing: Exploring progressive changes to New York State’s personal income tax system

The recession and its strangle hold on New York State’s traditional revenue sources have exposed vulnerabilities and inequities in the state’s tax policy. New York State’s overdependence on tax revenues from Wall Street, coupled with the mounting financial pressures on middle-income households, have created an imperative for lawmakers to reassess how and where New York State pulls its revenues.

March 12, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Public Hearing on Corporate Franchise and Bank Tax Reform

Evaluating the equitability of New York State’s business and banking tax structures and their effectiveness to foster economic growth statewide

May 21, 12:30 PM - 5:30 PM
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Public Hearing: Weighing the fairness of the Corporate Franchise Tax and the effectives of its expenditures

For years, New York State has taken a shoot-at-the-hip approach toward economic development in regard to its use of tax benefits. Their aim has been questionable. Their results, hit or miss.

April 30, 12:30 PM - 5:30 PM
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Senate Approves Red Light Cameras

By Bud Lowell

The State Senate has approved a package of bills that will allow Rochester, Buffalo and other upstate New York cities to install red light cameras.

The cameras are set up at crash-prone intersections to catch people who run red lights. Police send a notice of liability and a $50 ticket to the registered owner of the car.

New York City has had the cameras in use since 2006, and State Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan says they've saved lives. She predicts upstate communities will discover the same thing.

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April 7, 2009
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State Senator Liz Krueger and the NYS Maple Producers Association Present New York's Rich Maple History

Public school students from P.S. 77 will spend a morning learning about maple syrup's history and production through a variety of interactive workshops. Maple syrup has been a staple of New York's agricultural industry dating back to pre-colonial times. To this day the maple syrup industry in upstate New York provides many jobs and is a significant part of the State's economy.

April 7, 2009
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No crime too big to take away a public pension

By Susan Schulman

Being a crooked cop can cost a police officer his job, his reputation and even his freedom. But not his pension.

Consider Buffalo Detective Sylvestre Acosta, who is serving 45 years in prison, and also collecting a $40,544 annual pension. Or fellow narcotics investigator Gerald T. Skinner, whose $54,751 disability pension was approved while he was behind bars.

April 5, 2009
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No crime too big to take away a public pension

By Susan Schulman

Being a crooked cop can cost a police officer his job, his reputation and even his freedom. But not his pension.

Consider Buffalo Detective Sylvestre Acosta, who is serving 45 years in prison, and also collecting a $40,544 annual pension. Or fellow narcotics investigator Gerald T. Skinner, whose $54,751 disability pension was approved while he was behind bars.

April 5, 2009
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