ONEONTA, 08/04/10 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the special legislative session and final approval of the state budget:
"Over four months past the April 1st deadline New York finally has a state budget, but the extra wait hardly helped produce a quality spending plan. For the second year in a row, the state is being treated to a budget fabricated behind closed doors that raise taxes, spends at an unsustainable rate and fails to create any new jobs or improve New York’s economy.
"I voted against each of the budget bills and, more than just say no, offered a number of alternative proposals designed to cut state spending, reduce property taxes and boost jobs. Here’s the crux of the problem, Albany leaders failed to convene budget conference committees, as required by law, so no public debate ever took place. As a result, a number of worthy ideas never made it to the senate floor for consideration.
“On the bright side, a property tax cap did receive senate approval, and I urge the assembly to pass the measure as well. But the cap is only part of the answer. We need to pass meaningful mandate relief to help our overburdened local governments and schools cut costs. I also voted in favor of the Power for Jobs extension, a real lifeline for many struggling upstate businesses.
“Overall though, I am extremely disappointed with the final budget that raises taxes by $2.2 billion, including approval of new income taxes, business taxes and reinstatement of the sales tax on clothing. The budget sends the wrong message to families struggling to get by and businesses cutting costs to stay afloat and will make it that much more difficult for many to live and prosper in New York state.”