In light of the Executive Budget released Wednesday by Governor Spitzer, I can’t help but feel disappointed. Overall, I was dissatisfied with the small amount of school property tax relief Suffolk County homeowners would be offered and the incredible amount of spending in the budget.
Spitzer’s property tax relief plan will provide for mostly ‘middle-class’ New Yorkers but will not benefit many Long Island homeowners. In a recent report compiled by the Office of the State Comptroller, the statewide property tax levy per household was listed at $5,341. However, the Long Island property tax levy per household was more than $9,000.
In other words, statewide property taxes are high, but they are even higher on Long Island. Yet, Long Island is the region that will least benefit from the property tax relief proposed in the Executive Budget.
Along with the budget came excessive spending. Spitzer’s budget is a $120 billion plan that spends an additional $7 billion, compared to Governor Pataki’s 2006-07 budget. This is far too much spending.
On a more positive note, however, I was happy to see certain incentives for increased school accountability and reduced Medicaid spending. I agree with many of the proposals included in the budget, yet I do not agree with the excessive spending, insufficient school funding, and tax relief that does not go far enough.
Specific provisions in the Executive Budget include:
- An additional $1.4 billion to the state’s $17.8 billion in education spending
- All school districts will receive at least a 3 percent increase in school aid
- A “Contract for Excellence” to expand education accountability
- Drastically reforming Wicks Law
- A $1 billion reduction in Medicaid spending
While this budget is not a bad start, it includes far too much spending. This, along with providing real property tax relief to Long Island taxpayers, is an issue we need to address during this year’s legislative session.
Reducing New York’s skyrocketing property taxes is my number one priority. As your Assemblyman, I intend to fight for significant tax relief for Long Island’s hardworking taxpayers.