This legislative session has made ample progress toward fiscal responsibility in New York. An on-time budget was passed for the first time in years, which included deficit reduction and no new borrowing. Since the start of my term, I have fought for a property tax cap and mandate relief. This week, the state Legislature made a down payment on comprehensive property tax relief with the passage of the strongest cap in the United States. We achieved $127 million in unfunded mandate relief, established a mandate relief counsel along with strengthening and expanding rent regulations. But make no mistake: there is more work to be done to reduce the second-highest property taxes in the nation.
Furthermore, additional mandate relief is necessary for local governments and school districts in order to control the growth of cost-drivers that contribute to high property taxes. This includes reforming and redesigning our stateís pension system, reining in the costs of bloated entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, and repealing the onerous MTA payroll tax.
At the same time, letís get the approximately 800,000 unemployed New Yorkers back to work. There needs to be more focus on growing our private-sector job creators by removing red tape and giving incentives to businesses that invest in New York. I am proud of the progress we have made this year Ė now letís build on this success and keep our promise to the people of the Empire State.