Oaks Calls for Spending Cuts and Tax Relief

Statement by Assemblyman Robert C. Oaks
July 29, 2008

Governor Paterson addressed New Yorkers tonight with the state of our economy. It came as little surprise that our economy is struggling. In response to this pressing issue, the governor called for an emergency session of the Legislature to take place on August 19.

Although high gas prices and slowing economy have lowered the anticipated revenues coming to the state, New York’s fiscal problems did not start with these recent events. New York has been spending too much, taxing too much and borrowing too much for years. When the 2007-08 state budget grew by nearly triple the rate of inflation and the original 2008-09 budget proposal from then-Governor Spitzer came in with proposed record spending, it was a recipe for extreme fiscal problems.

Before the budget was passed in April, warnings of lower revenues convinced me to vote against much of the spending in the 2008-09 budget. Now, we need to move quickly to get New York’s financial house in order.

I commend the Governor for bringing this issue to the forefront, but now we need his leadership to deal with our fiscal problems.

When we convene in Albany, I am also calling on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to address property tax relief for New Yorkers. The state Senate had already planned to meet and pass several tax relief measures and with the Governor now calling for a special session, the Assembly should also consider these measures.

We need to stop business as usual in the New York State Assembly and work together so that we can deliver the relief that the citizens of New York are depending on us to provide.