Ashby: Budget Priorities Must Focus On Hard Working Families And Upstate Communities

Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) joined his legislative colleagues in calling for stronger attention given to providing hardworking families with relief and investment in areas to improve upstate communities. Over the past 10 years, the state lost more than 1 million residents that had enough of the tax burden, the lack of economic opportunity and the state ignoring the needs of communities outside of New York City.

“Upstate has been struggling under Gov. Cuomo’s administration, with little in the way of improvement from his half-baked economic development schemes and billions in taxpayer-funded giveaways to pad his campaign coffers,” said Ashby. “The reality is the cost of living is too high, the job-creation climate in the state is hostile, and small municipalities are struggling to make ends meet in Cuomo’s New York. The budget needs to focus on correcting these problems – providing tax relief to families, lifting burdens on small business and investing in our local communities – do these things and we could see some meaningful changes.”

Ashby focused his budget agenda on a few key areas:

  • Relief for Hardworking Families
    • Make the two percent property tax cap permanent. It is set to expire in June 2020.
    • Keep the promise of middle-class tax cuts. Ensure that no scheme or excuse is used to derail the full realization of the $4.2 billion in tax relief for middle-class families by 2024-25.
    • Increase TAP funding and accessibility. The budget should increase funding to TAP and adjust the income threshold to improve access to middle-class families currently shut out of the program.
  • Improve the Business Climate for Small Businesses
    • Enact the Small Business Full Employment Act. The act would provide a 15 percent personal income tax exemption and reduce the job-killing corporate tax from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent. It would further create some tax credit incentives for hiring new employees and providing tuition assistance. Finally, it would create a panel to review and remove some of the worst job-killing regulations in our state.
  • Invest in Upstate Communities
    • Restore AIM Funding. Aids and Incentive to Municipalities funding has been threatened by the governor. AIM must be fully restored to help upstate local governments.
    • Unfunded Mandate Relief. Costly unfunded mandates must be addressed now. The state must take on more of the cost of the programs it has pushed on local governments.
    • Invest in Infrastructure and Libraries. Increasing funding to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) by $100 million per year over five years. Increase funding to local libraries by $5 million by eliminating wasteful programs in the governor’s budget proposal.