STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN BONACIC
On State of the State Address
I was very pleased to hear Governor Cuomo say that this year, as a first priority, he wants to lower the tax burden for all residents. If we want to send a national message that New York is open for business and want to create private sector jobs, we should lower the personal state income tax.
If the governor does not choose to do that, then lowering property taxes for our struggling homeowners should be our number one goal. New York has the highest property taxes in the nation. These taxes have been too high for too long. As I always have, I will be advocating during the budget process for long overdue tax relief for struggling homeowners.
Having said that, any reduction of the tax burden on our citizens is welcome.
I am also pleased the Governor has not forgotten our veterans. My colleagues in the Senate and I have passed a bill in the Senate for the last three years, that provides small businesses owned by disabled veterans be awarded 5 percent of State contracts. New York State has more than 127,000 veteran-owned small businesses. I am hopeful that this will be the year we are able to provide our wounded warriors with increased access to the opportunities they fought and sacrificed for.
In addition, the Governor laid out a timeline for approval of casino applications, which will lead to breaking ground for casino construction this Fall. I urge the Governor to stick to this timeline and support the approval of two casinos in the Catskills.