Senator Helming Statement on New York State Budget

For months, I have heard my constituents' concerns about where our state is headed. In fact, my recent legislative survey shows 72% of my constituents believe the state is headed in the wrong direction. 

While I was optimistic about what we were told would be a new season of transparency and bipartisan collaboration in government, what we’ve seen is quite the opposite.

This budget is the highest in our state’s history, with record-level spending and not enough relief for overburdened taxpayers. This at a time when inflation is at a 40-year high and people are being crushed by higher food, gas and utility prices.

My biggest concern with this budget? The future. How can we sustain this level of spending going forward? What kind of state are we leaving our children and grandchildren?

While I'm pleased to see this budget includes some relief from gas taxes and the repeal of the fiber optic tax, both of which I've long called for, as well as an acceleration of the middle-class tax cuts, the reality is, this budget doesn't go far enough. And like many bills in Albany, the devil is in the details. 

With a multibillion-dollar surplus, we could have and should have given our families, farmers and small businesses greater relief from the high cost of living and doing business in New York State. That opportunity was squandered.