ALBANY, N.Y.—Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) echoed the call for long-term budget solutions made by Governor Paterson during his Executive Budget presentation today.
“We are in the midst of serious economic difficulties, and we must enact a budget that reflects the seriousness of this situation by reining in spending, focusing on consolidation and efficiencies, and investing in economic development and job creation,” Senator Valesky, Vice President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, said.
Senator Valesky remains concerned about the several sizeable tax and assessment increases proposed in the Executive Budget, and the lack of a defined and long-term property tax relief proposal.
“The Executive Budget is a starting point for budget negotiations. We will study the proposal in detail, and find solutions that put the taxpayers first,” Senator Valesky said. “Real budget reform is not just desirable—it is necessary.”
A number of proposals in the Executive Budget echo Senator Valesky’s continued focus on job creation and retention, building a business-friendly climate, and streamlining government, including:
· Enacting Empire Stat, a performance-based budgeting model for state agencies
· Consolidating several state agencies and functions
· Creating a $25 million small business revolving loan fund, similar to legislation introduced by Senator Valesky
· Enacting a four-year moratorium on unfunded mandates, easing the local property tax burden
Senator Valesky also strongly supports the Governor’s commitment to enforcing the state law to collect sales tax cigarettes sold to non-Native Americans by Native American stores.
“Since the law was signed, I have urged its enforcement. I will continue to do so, and am pleased that the Governor included this in the Executive Budget,” Senator Valesky said.