Our state has one of the most expensive tax systems in the nation and it is outrageous that the Assembly Majority is proposing to further increase that burden by another $2.7 billion. Everyday another resident is leaving the state, another job is lost. Businesses, just like residents, can no longer foot the bill for Albany’s excessive spending.
The time to act is overdue and, while I applaud the Governor’s decision to bring the State Legislature back to Albany, it is my belief that we never should have left in the first place. With a budget deficit of over $6 billion and growing, we need to get Albany’s addiction to spending under control now. We need to deliver meaningful tax relief for homeowners, cut the cost of gasoline and energy, and ensure our seniors and schools are well taken care of.
Putting a band-aid on the problem is not the solution. We need to take control and put in place a comprehensive plan that will deliver for all sides, without compromising our children’s education or asking our seniors to choose between their home and their tax bill. A circuit breaker, a tax cap, these are band-aid solutions to a larger problem – Albany’s out-of-control spending. While I am pleased we are back to business in Albany, it is disappointing that addressing the billions in taxpayer dollars spent every year on Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse is not being addressed, nor has funding the currently unfunded Albany mandates on local governments come up for discussion.
We also have not discussed cutting back on the size of government, which has grown to its highest levels through the last administration since the Cuomo days. We need to cut back on all of the big salaries and perks, such as taxpayer-funded vehicles, and titles like deputy commissioner, deputy deputy commissioner and so on. The time has come for us to take a serious look at creating a second state – a state that has more in common with tax issues, helping those working families who need help, and not being all things to all people.
I will continue to debate for these issues and stand up for the people of Western New York who deserve to have the burden taken off of their backs. For too long our broken property tax system has footed the bill for downstate programs, which are not run efficiently or effectively and are the root of the problem compromising our state’s future success.