The good news about the Assembly Majoritys budget proposal is that as a resolution it has no force of law. The bad news is that it reinforces a misguided mentality that over-taxes, over-spends and over-regulates.
With $1.7 billion in tax increases this year and $5.7 billion in tax increases over two years, the Assembly Majoritys one-house budget sets off a fiscal fire alarm that would send the most mobile New Yorkers running for the exits. New York can scarcely afford to lose another million residents.
Each year, spending increases are treated like a given without even a single thought of holding the line. There is a reason New York is continually ranked as one of the highest-taxed states and one of the worst in which to own a business and retire. We must stop throwing money at a problem and expecting that to fix it, especially in the face of a budget deficit.
It is not surprising, but it is disappointing that the one-house resolution:
- rejects a 2 percent property tax cap;
- fails to adequately fund roads, bridges and highway infrastructure;
- continues to under-fund salaries for direct-care professionals;
- provides no assistance for job-creating small businesses; and
- maintains $4.8 million in cuts to veterans programs
The Assembly Minority Conference has consistently advocated for legislation to reduce taxes, make the cost of doing business and living in New York more affordable, and provide needed support to residents, communities and local governments. As we move toward the April 1 budget deadline, we will continue to advocate for critical issues that have not been adequately addressed.
I look forward to working with legislative leadership and Gov. Cuomo to craft a more fiscally-responsible budget that works for the people of New York. There is much work to be done.