MINORITY LEADER JAMES N. TEDISCO
January 7, 2009
James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga):
"In delivering his first State of the State Address today, Governor Paterson touched on many of the challenges facing New York as we navigate an economic recession, a $15 billion budget deficit, and our homeowners endure the highest property taxes in the nation.
The question is: will the Governor's actions in the coming days match the lofty rhetoric we heard today?
The Governor's speech was, regrettably, short on many of the specifics New Yorkers want to hear about fixing our economy and providing meaningful property tax relief. Now, more than ever, we need action, not words. In this sense, the Governor's speech was a missed opportunity.
Let me be crystal clear: I am rooting for this Governor to succeed. All New Yorkers are hoping he succeeds. The stakes are too high for 'politics as usual.' Politics as usual is what got us in this mess.
We must invest in the economy so our best and brightest can stay right here. We must cut job-killing taxes to create more jobs. We must get back on the path of fiscal discipline by controlling spending and limiting the size, scope and reach of State government. We need to reduce the crushing burden on our homeowners - who pay the highest property taxes in the nation - by enacting a real property tax cap this session.
What we do not need - what New York cannot afford - is even more taxing, spending and borrowing. Unfortunately, contained within the Governor's 2009-10 Executive Budget were 137 tax and fee hikes. The Governor's 137 tax and fee hikes - on everything from non-diet soda to digital music downloads - would cost the average New York family $3,875.48 annually and is tantamount to declaring war on our state's overtaxed middle class families.
I will work with Governor Paterson to achieve a State Budget that is balanced, responsible and meets the needs of New Yorkers - without raising taxes and fees.
This will require us to roll up our sleeves and forge bi-partisan solutions that put New Yorkers back to work - and get our state back on track. There is much hard work ahead, but families have demanded, and deserve, change in how Albany does business."