MINORITY LEADER JAMES N. TEDISCO
December 16, 2008
James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga):
"Governor Paterson today unveiled his 2009-10 Executive Budget for the Legislature's consideration, nearly a full month before he was constitutionally required to do so. I commend the Governor for bringing a quick start to this budget process. With a state deficit approaching $15 billion, this budget process will be decidedly difficult and painful. The reality is that there are no easy answers or quick fixes.
I am approaching this budget process and the Governor's budget with a focus on three core principles: no new taxes or tax hikes, the need to invest in our Upstate and suburban economies and reining in the size, cost and reach of government.
Regrettably, on the first principle, the Governor's budget falls short. Governor Paterson's budget raises taxes - and even imposes new taxes - on middle class families and small businesses by almost $4 billion. Raising and imposing new taxes penalizes New York's middle class families, drives employers away and will ultimately worsen, prolong and deepen this economic recession.
Instead of raising taxes, we need to be reducing them. Cutting taxes, providing overtaxed homeowners a real property tax cap, and investing in jobs to grow our hurting economy - especially in Upstate and the suburbs - those areas should command our attention.
All across New York, people are losing their jobs. Businesses are closing. Middle class families are hurting and being forced to cut back in almost every area. It is even worse across Upstate, where our economy is in shambles, where so many communities have been devastated by a continued loss of manufacturing jobs. Things are not much better on Long Island, where the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing hurts families and first-time homebuyers.
Throughout this upcoming session - where we can, when we can - I will work with the Governor. Where I disagree - as I do with this budget's tax hikes and imposition of a new 'soda tax,' - I will say so and offer substantive alternatives, just as I did in sending the Governor a detailed list of 11 areas where he could reduce State spending. New York cannot afford legislators from either party acting as agents of delay or obstruction. We need real leadership, real solutions.
Our State has faced tough times before and we will face them again. I believe in the spirit, hard work and character of my fellow New Yorkers. We are the Empire State - we will get through this crisis and emerge stronger than before."