Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, Senator Kemp Hannon and Senator Chuck Fuschillo worked into the early morning hours this weekend to finish the 2007-08 State Budget on time and won significantly more revenues to support our Long Island school districts. This initiative was a successful attempt by Assemblyman Saladino and our Long Island Senators to fight Gov. Spitzer’s low amounts of school aid in his proposed budget.
“The Governor’s budget would have wreaked havoc on our schools, our children’s education and most importantly it would have forced property taxes sky-high,” said Assemblyman Saladino. “We refused to take the financially unfair treatment and slowed the budget process to force a greater share of state school aid. I am happy to have stood tall with our Senators, especially Chuck Fuschillo and Kemp Hannon. We delivered record amounts of state aid, taxpayer rebate checks and we did it quickly enough to achieve an on-time budget.”
Pressure from Assemblyman Saladino, Senators Skelos, Marcellino, Hannon, Fuschillo and their colleagues helped to push Governor Spitzer to add upwards of $500 million in additional aid for Nassau County school districts. The Governor’s initial budget proposal would have short-changed Long Island school districts and not provided direct property tax relief to homeowners. However, state legislators and Saladino managed to negotiate additional funding for Long Island schools as part of the $1.75 billion increase in school funding and restored property tax relief by adding rebate checks to property owners.
Long Island school districts have long been short-changed when it comes to their share of state education funding while New York City Schools continue to receive far more. This deficiency has forced local government to pass the cost of fully funding education on to local property owners and taxpayers. The 2007-08 Executive Budget would have only increased educational funding for the 11 schools in the 12th Assembly District by an average of 3.92 percent from last year. Through tough negotiations this past week by our Long Island delegation, they were able to secure an average increase of 12.16 percent for our school districts. As a whole, Nassau County schools will now receive an additional $50 million more than the Governor’s initial education fund proposal. These funds will go a long way to easing our overburdened property taxpayers.
Increased education funding, in the form of High Tax Aid, will add the following amount to school districts in the 12th Assembly District to reduce school taxes for property taxpayers:
- Bethpage - $449,824
- East Meadow - $1,161,529
- Farmingdale - $939,711
- Island Trees - $403,870
- Levittown - $1,179,646
- Massapequa - $1,228,694
- Plainedge - $527,446
“This budget spends $8.3 billion more than last year’s budget, with New York City schools and programs receiving the lion’s share of increases. Our Long Island delegation fought to get our fair share. I hope in the future that the governor will provide our region with a more equitable portion of the resources. Taxpayers are already overburdened and deserve what is fair,” said Assemblyman Saladino.
“By bringing home more for Long Island schools we are helping to minimize property tax burdens,” stated Assemblyman Saladino. “This has been a tough fight, but I am optimistic that these efforts will result in lower school taxes and a furthering of education for our children, homeowners, and schools. And, it is an on-time budget that is icing on the cake.”