Raia’s Response to the 2009-10 Executive Budget

December 16, 2008

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C-East Northport) today voiced his concerns over several proposals in the 2009-10 Executive Budget, which he noted will have a severe impact on Long Island families and families across the state.

“The 2009-10 Executive Budget seeks to place $4 billion in new taxes and fees on families and businesses and is an irresponsible move by the governor that will only prolong the current economic crisis. New York families are already struggling to make ends meet and the last thing they need right now is to have more of their money going into state coffers.

By restoring state taxes on clothing and footwear and repealing the fuel tax cap, the governor’s budget is rolling back tax breaks that were recently passed by the Legislature to provide overburdened New Yorkers needed tax relief.

Making matters worse is the governor’s plan to eliminate the Middle Class STAR Rebate program and decrease state aid to local school districts. I am concerned that these proposals will leave Long Island’s homeowners paying higher property taxes at a time when they can least afford to, all while reducing the quality of education for their children.

In addition to decreasing state aid to local school districts, the executive budget also increases tuition costs for SUNY and CUNY schools, making the dream of higher education less affordable for working-class families.

The budget also seeks to impose tolls on the last remaining non-toll bridges leading off Long Island. If enacted, this proposal will leave commuters no toll-free option when commuting to and from Long Island, resulting in higher costs of doing business on the Island and forcing people to spend more money just to get to work.

The 2009-10 Executive Budget unfairly targets New York families as a means to reduce the state’s growing deficit and is a continuation of Albany’s failed policies that have made New York state one of the least affordable places to live,” stated Raia.