ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien announced today that he voted in favor of the 2013-14 state budget, as it was passed by the State Senate. The budget included significant tax relief for middle class families and small businesses in addition to strategic investments to encourage job creation and economic development in the Monroe and Ontario County communities Senator O’Brien represents.
“The hardworking families and small businesses who live in the 55th District have struggled long enough under a crushing tax burden and stagnant job market." Senator O’Brien said. “The nearly $2 billion in tax cuts included in this year’s budget are a crucial first step toward unleashing a new era of economic growth in our region.”
Senator O’Brien noted that the budget included a number of initiatives he supports, including:
- Over $1 Billion in direct tax relief to middle class families over three years
- $800 million in business tax cuts and credits over three years
- The establishment of Innovation Hot Spots and an Innovation Venture Capital Fund to spur entrepreneurship, especially in the high-tech industries that are so important to the Finger Lakes Region.
- Tens of millions of dollars toward Monroe and Ontario County universities and community colleges, transportation and infrastructure improvements in the Rochester area, and preserving Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes, which drive tourism and agriculture in the region.
While he supported many of the provisions in this year’s budget, Senator O’Brien noted that the plan missed a number of opportunities to create an even better fiscal climate for New York. While the budget phases out the unfair 18-a utility tax in three years, he said it should have been eliminated immediately to bring real relief to families and businesses dealing with outrageous energy bills.
Senator O’Brien said he would continue working tirelessly to reduce the tax burden on his constituents and encourage investment in job creation for Monroe and Ontario Counties. He vowed to keep fighting against the proposal by utility companies to place the burden of closing a downstate power plant on upstate residents. He also looks forward to working with local leaders, including the members of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, to make sure his district receives its fair share of resources and generate new ideas for job creation and economic development.
“This budget takes some positive steps in providing families and businesses with the tools and opportunities they need to prosper, but there is still much work to be done. I will continue working to reduce the burden of property taxes and unfunded mandates and make our community a hub for job creation and innovation.”
Sen. O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.
Thomas J. Morrisey
office: (585) 223-1800