The governorís executive budget proposal left me with many concerns for Long Island. First and foremost, we need to get unemployed New Yorkers back to work and, unfortunately, the governorís proposal does not have a clear plan to do so. If we are going to tackle the unemployment problem, we need to jumpstart our economy with lower taxes and increased business incentives. Instead, the governor is proposing over $1 billion in new taxes, fees and surcharges.
I also am disappointed that the governor did not include a program for meaningful property tax relief. New Yorkers, especially on Long Island, are struggling under the weight of increasing property tax bills, so this yearís budget needs to reduce this burden.
I also am immensely concerned with the cuts to Long Island schools. The governor is proposing a $2.1 billion decrease to formula-based school aid. This will negatively affect our schools and is a direct result of a poor budget that was passed last year, a budget that I adamantly opposed.
In looking toward this yearís budget process, we need to focus on reducing state spending and preventing waste and abuse of valuable tax dollars. These two actions are crucial in order to make New York prosperous again by creating an economy where people are working and not struggling to pay their taxes.