With experts projecting an economic recession, now is not the time to increase spending. Unfortunately, that is precisely what the governor proposes in his Executive Budget. Even worse, the excessive spending is going to all the wrong areas. The budget proposal is plagued with broken promises that are going to increase your taxes.
Specifically, I am deeply concerned about the impact the governor’s budget would have on New York’s middle class. The hard-working people of this state need tax relief and instead of delivering on his promise of $550 million in property tax rebates, the Governor has cut that relief down to just $120 million. With 90 to 95 percent of New York’s middle class enrolled in the rebate program, this would cut the relief each household sees by even more. What we need is more tax relief - not less - and that is why I am going to fight to ensure our plan, the Property Taxpayers Protection Act, will deliver long-term tax relief if enacted.
This budget hurts the middle class in other ways, such as increasing surcharges, fees and gasoline taxes. In addition to raising the state’s gasoline taxes, the governor proposes to increase the cost of health insurance and car insurance. While this budget would increase your health insurance by forcing your HMO to raise rates, he is tacking on increased fees directly onto your car insurance bill. Forget being able to afford gasoline – how will New Yorkers be able to afford their cars much longer? We need to stop raising taxes and surcharges so that middle-class New Yorkers can afford to live in our state.
The governor also attacks the middle-class property tax bill on another front. Although he agreed to provide more school aid last year, the governor has decided to cut back on that promise as well. With 18 percent of New York’s children living on Long Island, our schools also deserve 18 percent of the funding. But, once again, this governor wants to shortchange our schools – I will do everything to ensure that does not happen and that middle-class Long Islanders are protected.
Over the last few weeks, the governor has unveiled a vision for our state that is promising, but it is based on false hopes and broken promises as evidenced through his budget address today.