“I will be reviewing the Governor’s proposed state budget carefully, but on first glance I have great concern about his plans to increase taxes and fees by nearly $6 billion, eliminate direct property tax relief and cut education and local aid that will force property taxes even higher.
I commend Governor Paterson for recognizing that as our economy continues to struggle, New York State cannot continue the spending increases that have been proposed in past Executive Budgets. However, while the state needs to control spending, we need to make sure that the money is spent wisely.
The Executive proposal contains page after page of new and increased taxes and fees that will make it even more difficult for taxpayers to make ends meet. We simply cannot raise taxes in this struggling economy.
School aid cuts within the Governor’s budget proposal are another area of concern. In recent years, Long Island taxpayers have had to bear a disproportionate share of the cost of public education in New York State which has overburdened homeowners and businesses here. Further cuts to our schools will only hurt our children’s education and lead to higher property taxes for Long Island families.
The Governor’s budget also does not appear to include plans to strengthen the state’s economy or create jobs, nor does his plan call for further investments in our highway and bridge infrastructure. The State Senate passed a job creation plan this week that should be part of budget discussions as we move forward.
A swift, open and bipartisan budget process is in the best interests of all New Yorkers. I am committed to working with the Governor and all of my colleagues in the Legislature to achieve a state budget that controls spending and protects Long Island taxpayers.”
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