Assemblyman Peter Abbate Assemblyman

Reports to the People
Spring 2006

Assemblyman Abbate Helps Deliver
Budget that Gives New Yorkers Tax Relief

Budget Highlights

  • A child tax credit with a benefit of $330 for each child between ages 4 and 17 for every family in the state;

  • Elimination of the marriage penalty tax, saving married couples $41 million annually when fully phased in;

  • A larger STAR personal income tax credit of $115 for single filers and $230 for joint filers, bringing total STAR savings for NewYork City residents to $1.1 billion annually;

  • The overrides restore over $1 billion of the governor’s $1.3 billion in health care cuts;

  • The overrides provide for a total of $903.3 million in new state spending in health care for restorations and additions to Medicaid and other public health programs;

  • Eliminated the state sales tax on clothing and footwear items priced under $110; and

  • The Legislature’s bipartisan budget cuts taxes $1.6 billion this year, and $2.5 billion next year, and rejects nearly $1 billion in tax increases the governor wanted to impose.

I’m pleased to announce that the Legislature’s bipartisan budget will ensure a spending plan that protects health care, promotes education, invests in the city’s economy and returns surplus tax dollars back to the families who paid them.

Meeting in open conference committees, the Legislature came to a bipartisan consensus on an on-time budget that meets the needs of New York City working families, children and seniors. This budget helps New York families get the assistance they need and protects the health of New York’s most vulnerable populations by funding critical nursing home, hospital and emergency care.

We did more to make sure working families have access to – and actually receive – the health care they need. The Legislature also reversed the governor’s vetoes that would’ve hindered access to an affordable college education.

The Legislature’s constitutional amendments to the budget represent the priorities of elected representatives from both sides of the aisle in the Assembly and Senate – representatives from across the state who are attuned to the values and needs of people in their communities.

Abbate Supports Budget Plan for
Our Children and Working Families

“I strongly believe that parents are better suited to decide how their money should be spent rather than the government deciding for them.”
In a clear victory for parents and their children, I helped pass the budget plan, including a child tax credit that will help many more of our community’s working families than the governor’s limited plan.

This year’s budget plan targets working families earning up to $110,000 a year, allowing them to receive a $330 per child tax credit for each child between 4 and 17 years old. The Legislature rejected the governor’s shortsighted “education tax credit” which was limited to educational expenses in only a small number of school districts for families earning less than $75,000.

This budget plan will benefit the hard working families of Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Bay Ridge and Boro Park without putting limitations on how they use the tax credit. Under the governor’s plan, his restrictive education tax credit could only be used for tutoring, test preparation or private school tuition.

Budget Delivers Tax Cuts to Working Families

The Legislature targeted tax relief for those who need it most, namely hard-working families, homeowners, seniors, and job-creating businesses. The Legislature’s budget provides real tax relief to real New Yorkers by:

  • agreeing on a state budget that cuts taxes $1.6 billion this year and $2.5 billion next year;

  • eliminating the state sales tax on clothing and footwear items priced under $110;

  • raising the NYC STAR personal income tax credit amounts to $115 for single filers and $230 for joint filers bringing total STAR savings for New York City residents to $462 million annually;

  • reducing the marriage penalty tax, which will save married couples $41 million annually when fully phased in; and

  • creating a budget that contains $600 million in tax relief for New York families with a new child tax credit with a benefit of $330 for each child between 4 and 17 for every family in the state.

Legislature Makes Significant Investments
in New York’s Education System

“The budget we fought for and won is a clear victory for New York school children.”
The Legislature’s education budget provides our students with the tools necessary to succeed in a global economy.

By providing necessary capital to modernize school facilities and expanding the number of universal pre-K classes, the Legislature’s education budget invests in our children’s future at all levels of the school ladder.

The Legislature’s bipartisan budget also invests hundreds of millions of dollars into higher education and much-needed capital improvement projects, while making it easier for New Yorkers working full and part-time jobs to afford to go to SUNY and CUNY schools.

By restoring almost $320 million in state support to local colleges and universities, we will help ensure that all students have access to an affordable college education.

Education Budget Highlights

  • $1.8 billion more for NYC school construction to modernize our schools;

  • a record $1.362 billion increase in education funding over last year, with New York City schools receiving $501 million more than last year;

  • $25 million more for NYC pre-K which will enable the city to serve an additional 7,500 4-year-olds;

  • $88.9 million for class size reduction grants for overcrowded city schools;

  • $13.8 million increase in aid for city students with limited English proficiency;

  • $5.7 million to ensure library aid keeps up with local population growth;

  • $70 million for special education;

  • $12.3 million for Teacher Centers and the Teacher Mentor Intern Program;

  • $131 million to block tuition hikes for State University of New York and City University of New York students;

  • $119.5 million restored to TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) allowing more students to go to college;

  • increase Bundy Aid to private colleges such as St. Francis, NYU, LIU and Wagner by $4.2 million;

  • invest $763 million more for capital improvement needs at the state university systems with nearly $461 million for SUNY and $302 million for CUNY schools like Brooklyn College;

  • increase in funding for community college base aid by $17.06 million at schools like Kingsborough; and

  • increasing support for vital higher education programs like EOP, HEOP, SEEK, College Discovery, and Liberty Partnerships by 10%.

Assembly Reaches Agreement
With Senate to Cap Gas Taxes
Legislature’s agreement will bring much-needed relief to New Yorkers

The Legislature has agreed on a plan to provide New York State residents with relief from high gas prices by reducing and capping state and local sales taxes on gasoline.

“New York families can’t afford to pay skyrocketing gas prices without some kind of relief and our agreement gives them some relief.”

New Yorkers have been struggling with high fuel costs for too long. With the summer travel season approaching, this agreement was desperately needed in order to provide New York’s working families, motorists and businesses with immediate relief.

This agreement would save New Yorkers an estimated $450 million annually at the pump by capping state and local sales taxes on gas at 8 cents per gallon, which locks in the tax at the $2 per gallon rate. If gas prices should dip below $2 per gallon, the 8-cent cap would be reduced proportionately. For example, with gas prices at $3 per gallon, this agreement would reduce the tax on gas by 4 cents per gallon.

The Legislature’s gas tax plan would take effect on June 1 for the state sales tax and July 1 for local sales taxes. With this agreement, local governments across the state will be able to pass legislation to cap their local sales taxes on gasoline.

The Legislature’s gas plan includes:

  • requiring that service station owners pass along the savings to consumers;

  • making the state Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, in conjunction with chair of the state Consumer Protection Board, responsible for enforcing the gas cap; and

  • fining gas stations up to $5,000 per incident, per day, if they neglect to pass savings on to consumers.


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