“With just four days and counting to make tangible progress toward a timely State Budget by the April 1 fiscal deadline, I am calling on the Majorities in the Assembly and Senate to release publicly their schedule of Joint General Conference Committee meetings. I again urge Governor Paterson to convene a public meeting of the Legislative Leaders so all New Yorkers can learn where each of the respective conferences stands in terms of offering serious and substantive suggestions regarding the 2010-11 State Budget.
On behalf of our Assembly Minority Conference, which believes the budget must not contain any new taxes or borrowing, I submitted specific suggestions to the Governor and other conferences for their review and input. One of those recommendations included the collection of sales taxes on cigarette purchases made on Native American lands by non-Native American Indians, which could generate an estimated $600 million in revenue. In addition to this and our other proposals, the final budget should include a real property tax and state spending cap, both of which are critical for controlling the future growth of local tax levies and government spending and would ensure this year’s budget lays the groundwork for a stronger financial future.”