Reducing unfunded mandates that are passed onto our local municipalities and schools is a top priority for me.
Unfunded mandates are impositions on local governments and school districts, not only because they force mandates without helping to pay the cost but because, oftentimes, this forces our local governments to raise school or property taxes. I staunchly believe we need to reform our state's property tax system, and one way we can help local governments and homeowners alike is by stopping the unfunded mandates that come from Albany.
The largest unfunded mandate is Medicaid. This $45 billion program is the most expensive in the nation and close to ten percent of the costs are believed to come from Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse. This amounts to nearly $5 billion in excessive taxation on New Yorkers.
I have worked hard to bring accountability and transparency to the Medicaid program and am happy to report that last year close to $551 million in fraudulent Medicaid expenses were reclaimed. But clearly there is more that needs to be done.
As a sponsor of the New York State Property Taxpayer Protection Act, I will continue advocating that Albany stop imposing unfunded mandates and increase efforts to combat Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse.