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Assemblyman
Stephen Hawley
Assembly District 139
 
Hawley Reacts to Today’s State of Upstate
January 16, 2008

In today’s first State of Upstate Address, the Governor again touched on many proposals that invest a lot of money in our Western New York community. Again, he addressed property taxes and vowed to not raise taxes this year. Last year’s budget was historic because of its record spending and your property taxes went up even higher.

There is no doubt that the Governor’s vision for revitalizing Upstate will cost money, but a $1 billion price tag is too much for our wallets to take. Affordable housing, broadband internet access and many other proposals the Governor touched on today are problems for New Yorkers – but the number one problem facing our state, forcing foreclosures on our homes and our family farms, closing our businesses and costing us our jobs, is this state’s outrageous property taxes. Our taxes are so outrageous because, for too long, Albany has spent your hard-earned money too easily. Last year, Albany spent a record 7.4 percent more than any budget in history and now the Governor wants to do it again. We must cut spending in Albany and we must enact, not study, property tax reforms that deliver real relief now.

By prioritizing the real problems facing our state, we can make revitalization affordable. It is not the creation of new government programs and spending more that will save our state’s economy. It is less government spending, involvement and taxation that will help make a free enterprise system thrive. It is not spending a billion dollars that we are actually going to have to borrow and that compromises our children’s future. What we really need to do is stop the government spending, stop the bailouts; this will cut our property taxes and revive our economy, ensuring our state’s success.

For years, I have fought to enact programs that would accomplish goals similar to what the Governor is calling for, but at a much lower price tag. Specifically, my proposals would protect farms and help promote them; better our schools through increased accountability and smarter spending; create and retain better paying jobs; fight the urban crime that is spreading into our neighborhoods; and provide our state with a strong foundation of low-cost, reliable energy and well-maintained transportation. In fact, my plan for New York’s future also would cut your property taxes by addressing the fraud, waste and excessive spending that increases your tax bill. In fact, my plan would save taxpayers billions every year.

The Governor has a great vision for our state and I look forward to working with him to improve our state, especially here in Western New York. Nevertheless, his plan is out of our budget and I will continue to stand up for taxpayers to ensure they get the tax relief they desperately need.

 
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