Philip Ramos
Working for us

Dear Neighbor,

In partnership with Governor Spitzer, we’ve already made progress by ensuring a more open and efficient budget process and passing lobbying reforms. I look forward to passing another on-time budget that delivers for Suffolk County families.

You’ve worked hard for what you’ve got and earned the right to enjoy it. You shouldn’t be overwhelmed by high property taxes, health care expenses, or prescription drug prices. That’s why last year I worked to provide property tax rebates to lower property tax bills. This year, I support the governor’s expanded Middle Class STAR program, as well as his initiative to explore bulk purchasing of prescription drugs.

The Legislature is now reviewing the governor’s recommendations on these and other crucial issues facing New York. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the governor to ensure a fair, on-time budget that delivers needed tax relief, addresses the skyrocketing costs of health care and prescription drugs, and provides our communities with our fair share of state aid to education.


P.S. The tax filing deadline is April 15th. If you need assistance in completing your taxes, don’t worry—there are places you can go to get help. Inside you will find contact information for organizations that can help you.

Assemblyman Ramos
A strong voice for a better New York

Assemblyman Ramos sponsors budget reform. A new law, which Assemblyman Ramos sponsored, increases transparency and modernizes the budget process (Ch. 1 of 2007). Provisions include:

  • Eliminating the $200 million in “lump sum” appropriations for local initiatives, requiring each local grant to be outlined in the budget and subject to the governor’s line-item veto

  • Assessing the budget’s impact on local governments

  • Increasing the state’s rainy day reserve, and

  • Requiring the Legislature to explain the fiscal impact of its proposed changes to legislators and the public before a budget vote

Assemblyman Ramos sponsors ethics/lobbying reform package. The Assembly, Senate and governor agreed on an ethics reform package, which the Assembly passed (A.3736-A). The landmark proposal will curtail gifts from lobbyists to legislators and create a comprehensive watchdog agency to ensure the integrity of state government, merging the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying and the State Ethics Commission into the Commission on Public Integrity. Provisions include:

  • Banning virtually all gifts of more than a nominal value from registered lobbyists to public officials

  • Limiting lobbyists from paying or reimbursing travel and accommodations of a public official

  • Strengthening revolving door provisions applying to legislative employees by prohibiting them from lobbying the Legislature for two years

  • Prohibiting public officials from being paid for speeches

  • Requiring lobbyists to list their actions seeking grants on their lobbying reports

Providing middle-class property tax relief. Assemblyman Ramos agrees with Governor Spitzer that we must cut property taxes for middle-class families and seniors. The governor’s budget proposal includes numerous tax cutting recommendations:

  • Increasing the income exemption for eligible senior STAR recipients to $73,800 in 2007-08 and $79,500 in 2008-09 and

  • Including a permanent cost-of-living adjustment to eligible senior STAR recipients

Suffolk County

Basic Star Enhanced Star
Average Current STAR Savings Proposed 07-08 Average Middle Class STAR Savings Increase Average Current STAR Savings Proposed 07-08 Average Middle Class STAR Savings Increase
$954 $1,717 $763 $1,683 $2,188 $505

Addressing the cost of prescription drugs. Skyrocketing prescription costs hurt everyone. That’s why Assemblyman Ramos will carefully review the governor’s proposed budget recommendations to:

  • Explore bulk purchasing

  • Accelerate inclusion of the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program in the state’s Preferred Drug Program

  • Effectively combine New York’s EPIC with Medicare Part D to ensure that beneficiaries will not bear any additional out-of-pocket costs for their prescription drugs

Need help paying utility bills? The federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) assists eligible households with heating costs. For information on where to apply, call 1-800-342-3009. The benefit program can be a lifesaver, especially for families who spend a large percentage of their income on energy, have children under 6, adults over 60, or care for disabled individuals.

Free tax counseling services available

AARP Tax-Aide. AARP’s Tax-Aide program prepares tax returns and answers questions. The free service is supported by local volunteers and is available to middle-and low-income people of all ages, with special attention to those aged 60 and older. Call to find out if you need an appointment.

Brentwood Public Library
34 2nd Avenue

Monday • 9:00am–1:00pm
Saturday • 1:00pm–4:00pm

Through April 9
(631) 273-7883

Central Islip Public Library
33 Hawthorne Avenue
Central Islip

Thursday • 10:00am–2:00pm
Through April 12
(631) 234-9333

Islip Public Library
71 Monell Avenue

Tuesday • 10:00am–2:00pm
Through April 10
(631) 581-5933

West Islip Public Library
3 Higbie Lane
West Islip

Monday • 10:00am–1:00pm
Through April 9
(631) 661-7080

West Islip Senior Center
90 Higbie Lane
West Islip

Thursday • 10:00am–2:00pm
Through April 12
(631) 893-8932

VITA. VITA is a free IRS program that uses certified volunteers to help low-to-moderate-income people prepare their tax returns.

Suffolk County Department of Labor
725 Veterans Mem. Highway
Building 17 No., Cty. Complex

Monday–Friday, 9am-3pm
Through April 13
(631) 853-6514

All locations are handicapped accessible

Additional reference numbers
EPIC Helpline • (800) 332-3742
Statewide Helpline • (800) 333-4374
Medicare Rights Center Helpline • (800) 633-4227
Social Security Administration • (800) 772-1213

Assemblyman Philip Ramos Assemblyman
Philip Ramos

1010 Suffolk Avenue
Brentwood, NY 11717
(631) 435-3214