In response to Governor Paterson’s proposed budget cuts and increases in taxes and fees, Assemblyman Joseph S. Saladino and five of his Assembly colleagues held a press conference today to offer better solutions for a balanced New York State budget that will also be fair to Long Islanders.
“My concerns are with the proposed budget’s reductions in aid to education, essential healthcare services, and property tax relief programs such as the Middle Class STAR rebate check program for homeowners,” stated Assemblyman Saladino. “Raising taxes and fees, while cutting core services on struggling Long Island families, is simply not acceptable.”
Assemblyman Saladino and his fellow Minority assembly members noted that unnecessary spending contained in the proposed budget should be cut before moving forward with the over 130 new and expanded taxes and fees proposed by the Governor. Examples of wasteful spending include commissions - created to develop reports and recommendations on issues - which have already made their recommendations, but have yet to be dissolved and are still being funded. Also cited as needless spending were the many redundant and overlapping state services and offices, which would mean a considerable savings to taxpayers if consolidated and streamlined.
“Cutting aid to our public schools means guaranteed increases in property taxes. Instead of cutting school aid and essential healthcare, this is a time to carefully look at what the state spends money on and cut non-essential expenditures,” said Assemblyman Saladino. “I also call on the Governor to take a long look at the state Medicare system, which is plagued by waste and fraudulent claims.”
The Assemblyman also noted that for five years he has been involved in the debate in Albany on balancing the budget. Each year, the budget overspends and overtaxes families and has consistently been disproportionately unfair to Long Island Property taxpayers.
“I look forward to working with the Governor, as well as the Majority and Minority in the Assembly, to protect Long Island taxpayers and those who depend on the vital services that New York State provides,” Assemblyman Saladino concluded.