Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) announced today that the New York State Legislature reached an agreement on the 2006-07 state budget. The budget will provide more than $4.1 billion in tax relief over the next two years, including returning nearly $2 billion to property taxpayers through direct property tax rebate checks. It also includes education aid that is the largest single amount added by the legislature in the state’s history.
"This year, we will again be passing an on-time budget that continues our commitment to education by providing record levels of state aid to school districts," said Senator Fuschillo.
The budget increases education funding by more than $1.3 billion from last year’s total. This will ensure that schools have the resources they need to continue to provide high quality education as well as to control school district spending. Aid to libraries has also been increased to a total of $94.6 million.
In addition, the state also enacted the Empire State student tax credit, which will provide parents of school-age children with a per child tax credit. This will save New York families $600 million statewide.
The legislature also succeeded in eliminating the personal income tax marriage penalty, and the budget agreement will allow the state’s 4% portion of sales tax on clothing and shoe purchases under $110 to be eliminated on April 1st. These measures will result in an estimated savings of $641 million.
Another major focal point of the budget's $4.1 billion in savings for taxpayers includes a property tax relief plan. Homeowners across New York will receive almost $2 billion in school tax rebate checks directly from the State, and another $72 million is included for STAR cost of living increases for senior citizens.
The budget will fully restore the Governor's cuts to the state’s tuition assistance program (TAP) and agrees to create a part-time TAP program for students attending SUNY, CUNY, and independent colleges in this state. The legislature also rejected the Governor’s proposal to increase tuition at SUNY and CUNY Colleges.
"Property tax relief was a top priority in this budget and we've accomplished that by adding a record amount in school aid and record amounts in tax saving initiatives." Senator Fuschillo added.
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