Contact: Mike Fraser, office: (518) 455-3751; cell: (518) 859-8518
"The governor continued his familiar theme of blaming Washington D.C. for problems that have been evident in New York for years. Oppressive taxes, a high cost of living, and financial pressures that drive residents away are not new issues. Unfortunately, today's Executive Budget presentation was long on finger-pointing, yet short on financial details.
Despite the fiscal peril the governor insists we face, today's presentation failed to make a commitment to actually reduce spending. There was no plan to lower the costs Albany places on local governments. Corrupted and underperforming economic development programs, which cost taxpayers billions, remain untouched. Families and businesses across New York should be wary of the term ‘revenue raisers' - which are unlikely to help their bottom line.
The proposed overhaul of New York's tax system outlined by the governor is complicated and cumbersome, with an endless list of unanswered questions to go along with it. The true impact on employees - who may be forced to take a salary cut - and businesses may not be known for years.
There are certainly encouraging elements of the budget proposal: spending stays within the 2 percent cap; direct-care workers are provided a living wage; middle class tax cuts are preserved; and we sustain investment in the Environmental Protection Fund.
We need more specifics on the governor's spending plan for a complete assessment of its potential. The presentation we heard today was more about political positioning rather than policy solutions that directly address the state's longstanding problems."