While I am pleased to see that the governor has shown some restraint in increasing spending, his cuts in education and numerous new taxes and fees in healthcare will undoubtedly increase the burden on taxpayers.
No longer can we afford to tax residents or allow the state to brush off tough choices onto local governments or businesses, which ultimately have no choice but to push these new expenses onto taxpayers.
Unfortunately, the governor also missed the mark in terms of job creation, fiscal growth or preparing our state for a more sustainable economic future. His plan does nothing to address the record unemployment level in our state or to help foster a more productive partnership with existing businesses. While it is important to stimulate new economic growth, we also must do something to keep existing businesses and jobs here; again, this important issue was not addressed.
Another forgotten issue of paramount importance to us in the Hudson Valley was the MTA’s Payroll Tax. This tax is devastating businesses throughout my Assembly District and the greater region; yet, no action is being taken in Albany by the Governor or legislative leaders. Until this tax is rescinded, businesses in the Hudson Valley will continue to suffer and more of our jobs will be lost.
Unlike last year’s closed-door process, I am hopeful that this year the governor will encourage open budget negotiations, which will allow both lawmakers and members of the public to participate in this vital process.