State Senator John A. DeFrancisco joined community advocates for a press conference on October 25th at the State Office Building in Syracuse, to express frustration with Governor Cuomo's decision to veto his bill (S.2411-A), which would have allowed a tax credit for the purchase, construction or retrofitting of a principal residence to achieve universal visitability.
This is the third consecutive year that Governor Cuomo vetoed the bipartisan legislation, even though the bill had been modified to accommodate previous veto objections.
In his recent veto message, the Governor stated that the bill would require the Department of State to implement a new program and such decisions should be addressed in annual budget negotiations. Further, the Governor claimed that the way the current legislation is written would make it difficult for the Department of State to administer and regulate the tax credit.
Senator DeFrancisco argues, "This is a one million dollar pilot program. It is absurd that the Governor needs it to be part of the budget negotiations when he is repeatedly handing out millions of dollars on almost a daily basis for various failed projects across the state. The Governor also had no problem launching his free college tuition program when no specific regulations were in place at the time of his signing, and regulations for this complex initiative were created in days.”
"My bill would have helped hundreds of individuals with limited mobility improve their quality of life, stay in their own homes, and age in place," said Senator DeFrancisco.
Bill (S.2411-A) would provide a one-time tax credit for a newly constructed or retrofitted home, not to exceed $2,750, which uses universal design measures to create accessible and adaptable housing, such as wheelchair accessible entrances. The total credit amount provided by the State would be capped at $1 million per year for five years, and eligibility requirements would be established through guidelines formed by the Department of State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration.
At the press conference, ARISE Child & Family Services CEO Tania Anderson spoke. Several community advocates also attended to show their continued support of this important legislation.