There are certainly no quick solutions for the fiscal troubles we face as a state, but with everyone working together, our state will recover. Developing a sustainable economy, which takes advantage of the strengths of our region and state, has been my message, and it was reinforced by Governor Paterson in his first State of the State address.
The priority of this legislative session must be to get our state back on track without passing the burden onto local governments, businesses or taxpayers. In order to do so, we must cut spending, lower the cost of doing business in our state, cut the size of government and ensure the public sector runs efficiently. We must also promote value-added manufacturing, particularly for agricultural food processing and alternative energy technologies to bring vitality back to Upstate New York. These are areas where the Governor and I agree.
Most especially, we must lessen the burden on homeowners. The Governor renewed his support for enacting a property tax cap; a measure, which together with mandate relief, shared services (for example: making better use of BOCES) and energy conservation, could bring real relief to property taxpayers.
The Governor and I agree that investing in economic development throughout our state will lay the ground work for a more prosperous and stable economic future. However, reforming the Empire Zone program is not going to be enough and I look for the Governor’s action on his promise to lessen the taxes and regulations which hurt business.
The Governor today talked about how the collapse of Wall Street resulted in the loss of nearly 20 percent of our state’s income. We must take aggressive action to reinvest and redirect the state’s efforts without raising taxes. We must support our upstate communities, strengthen farmers’ ability to prosper, encourage businesses to choose New York State as their home, and give our young people and our working families a future.