Leader Brian Kolb: Governor Paterson’s Claim Of $74 Million In General Fund Cost Savings To Re-Open State Parks Rings Hollow
"While I am pleased that our state’s parks and historic sites will be re-opened for the Memorial Day holiday after Governor Paterson had closed them, his claims of reducing General Fund spending by $74 million rings hollow. This deal, brokered by the Majorities to re-open the parks, was based on a re-programming of Real Estate Transfer Taxes, raiding the State’s Environmental Protection Fund, along with an imposition of millions in new fees, including $10.8 million in surcharges from last year’s budget and $2.1 million in new fines. The Governor essentially ransomed our State Parks to impose yet another fee increase on New York taxpayers. I can’t decide what is worse: the fact the Governor closed our State Parks or his mischaracterizing how their re-opening will be paid for. This is a cash grab, plain and simple."