New York’s families are increasingly finding themselves overwhelmed with monthly bills and rising personal debt. Over 800,000 New Yorkers are unemployed, and many more find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. These are our neighbors; the family down the street, struggling to pay the mortgage and put food on the table, the young couple trying to save for their first home. Our taxes and costs of living are among the highest in the country, making the economic effects of unemployment greater in New York than in many other states. More than ever, families need real solutions to help lower taxes, create private sector jobs, fix the economy and make our communities more affordable places to live.
Over the past year, politicians in Albany have had numerous chances to reduce the amount of money that state government spends. Time after time, the broken status quo, regrettably, has won out as certain politicians continue to look the other way instead of making the same hard decisions that every family is faced with when balancing its checkbook.
PATERSON BALANCES BUDGET ON THE BACKS OF NEW YORKERS
Every January, the Governor gets an opportunity to outline his vision of how our state should spend your tax dollars. I hoped that Governor Paterson would heed the urgent call of New York’s struggling families and focus on improving our economy through job creation and middle class tax cuts. Unfortunately, the Governor’s budget doesn't do enough to get people back to work, and the $1 billion in new taxes, fees and surcharges it contains will result in families paying more in additional costs every year. If enacted, Governor Paterson’s 2010-11 Executive Budget is projected to cost the average New York family of four over $1,800 this year. Paterson’s tax increases would put increased financial pressure on families already paying for tuition and other basic necessities.
THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH FOR NEW YORK’S MOST VULNERABLE FAMILES
My top priority this session is getting the more than 800,000 New Yorkers who are out of work, back to work by fixing our economy and growing private sector jobs. We must also protect our homeowners. New Yorkers pay the fourth-highest property taxes in the country, and many families are facing the threat of losing their homes to foreclosure.
My colleagues and I have taken a close look at the Governor’s budget, examining all the taxes, fees, surcharges and other actions – such as the annual cost of state debt service – contained within his spending plan. The cumulative fiscal impact to an average family of four is estimated at $1,812. These projected costs will have a devastating fiscal impact on many families.
Last year, the Governor’s budget imposed nearly $3,873 in additional costs on an average New York family of four. Add the $1,812 in expenses from this year’s budget proposal, and New York families would pay nearly $6,000 in extra costs. We need to focus on reducing government spending, not increasing the crushing costs New York families already endure.
Our state is in a fiscal crisis caused by years of over-spending, over-borrowing and over-taxing. New York families cannot afford one more dime in new taxes or fees. Without question, our most immediate and pressing concern is fixing New York State’s economy. Governor Paterson’s spending plan didn’t do enough, and didn’t go far enough, to deliver the real change our state needs and New Yorkers have been demanding. We can do better.
SENECA COUNTY TOWN HALL MEETINGS WERE A SUCCESS, ONTARIO COUNTY IS NEXT
Saturday, January 30, marked the official kick-off of my 2010 Town Hall Meetings, as we stopped in the Towns of Lodi, Romulus and Seneca Falls. The meetings were well attended, taxpayers asked terrific questions about the 2010-11 State Budget, and I discussed my 2010 legislative priorities. Ontario County is the next stop in our 2010 Town Hall Meeting schedule – I hope you will save one of these dates and join us!
ONTARIO COUNTY TOWN HALL MEETING: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16
6:00 – 6:45 pm, at the Canandaigua Town Hall, 5440 Route 5&20 West, Canandaigua
ONTARIO COUNTY TOWN HALL MEETING: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
6:00 – 6:45 pm, at the Geneva Town Hall, Highway Garage, 3750 County Road 6, Geneva
7:00 – 7:45 pm, at the Manchester Town Hall, 1272 County Road 7, Clifton Springs
As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic, or any other state-related matter, should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, or e-mail me at email@example.com. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and informational updates regarding state government and our Assembly Minority Conference.