Big Gains For New York State This Session, But More To Be Done

A column from Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,C,I-Glen Head)
June 24, 2011

With the end of the 2011 legislative session, the New York State Legislature has made some historic steps toward improving the lives of taxpayers. The session started with an immense victory in an on-time state budget that closed a $10 billion deficit without job-killing tax increases and with a concerted effort to minimize cuts to local education funding. By fighting for the future of New York, we have set a precedent of how the budget process should work to best benefit everyone. We also have seen an unprecedented reduction in the growth of state government.

The passage of a two percent property tax cap will help to control the skyrocketing costs of living on Long Island. This tax cap includes restrained mandate relief. While this is not what was wanted by counties, school districts and the Assembly Minority Conference, it is a start and highlights the need for further mandate relief. To facilitate true and meaningful mandate relief the state needs to work on putting its fiscal house in order by identifying cost-drivers at every level. It is encouraging to see the Governorís continued efforts to bring mandate relief through the Mandate Relief Council that works to identify mandates which can be eliminated or reformed.

Job creation remains a priority, and we must continue to peel back anti-business taxes and regulations in the Empire State. There is work still to be done to make New York a business-friendly state and by continuing to strip away the government red tape, we work to bring long-term, private-sector jobs to the state and boost our economy.

I will continue to champion the cause of hardworking Long Island families. As a legislator, I will continue to strive for more mandate relief to reduce the burdens on local governments and school districts. This has been a successful legislative year with work still to be done. I look forward to meeting with constituents and pushing to make Long Island a stronger, safer place for residents and job creators.