Finger Lakes And Central New York Working Families Feeling The Squeeze

February 29, 2008

The hardworking New York middle-class families are feeling the squeeze. It is as expensive as ever to fill up our gas tanks, heat our homes and pay our outrageous property taxes. Just as bad, we need to dig deeper and deeper into our pockets to afford essential items like milk, bread and health care.

With the economy sputtering and costs mounting, people donít know where to turn for relief. It is time for state government to step in and do whatever possible to lessen the tax burden on Finger Lakes and Central New Yorkís working families. The first step would be to rein in spending. However, despite claiming that there will be no new taxes or fees, the governorís budget will cost the average family an additional $473 each year.

Governments, like families, need to work within a budget. I know that and every other family in the state knows that. So why should New York State be any different? New York State had, at last report, approximately $54 billion of total State-Funded debt. In addition to this State-Funded debt, public authorities had over $80 billion in other debt. Instead of working within our stateís means, Governor Spitzerís budget will increase our deficit, which is expected to be more than $5 billion.

Debt is really an additional tax on working families, and our children and grandchildren. We are passing off debt to future generations. That debt is going to have to be repaid eventually, and itís just another cost that will come back to us. Inevitably, the budget will be balanced on the backs of the middle class. There is no other alternative unless you rein in spending.

Iíll continue to demand tax relief for the middle class. We work hard enough. We deserve to keep more of our money. Itís tough to pay for the things you and your family need, let alone afford to pay for increasing taxes. Itís not fair that New York is the highest taxed state in the country and many people are forced to move. Thatís not right and we deserve better.

Iím working to cut taxes, push for property tax relief in the form of a cap and to tell Governor Spitzer that the state has a budget, just like you and I. We need relief and we need it now. We donít need pandering, rhetoric or commissions to study the problems. We need action and immediate relief, and thatís what I am fighting for.

Should you like to discuss this or any other state-related issues, please contact my district office at (315) 781-2030.