At the recent extraordinary session called by Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) weighed the pros and cons of the legislation presented and voted in the affirmative on the measure. The bill included a tax-code reform that lowers rates on middle-class New Yorkers, rolls back the MTA payroll tax for small businesses and schools, makes infrastructure improvements and allocates $50 million in flood-damage recovery. The Assembly Minority Conference introduced two amendments to the legislation, one that would provide Medicaid mandate relief to counties and a second that would force a cap on state spending. Both amendments did not pass the legislature.
“This bill works to both help and hinder the state,” said Montesano. “We are seeing helpful decreases in the job-killing MTA payroll tax, but the Governor’s legislation ignores some of the cost-drivers that continue to drive up taxes. Unfunded mandates remain a conspicuous issue for local and county taxpayers despite the success of the property tax cap. Lawmakers must redouble their efforts in the upcoming 2012 session to deliver comprehensive property tax relief to Long Island and other regions of New York by eliminating all new unfunded state mandates.
“While the Governor’s measure has plenty of positives about it, I hope that moving forward we increase the transparency and openness surrounding such proceedings,” said Montesano. “There is much work to be done during the next legislative session, and I am optimistic the Legislature’s bipartisan nature will prevail, allowing for a more open and diverse conversation to move New York State forward and open it for business.”