We must also offer the utmost honesty regarding the budget’s spending and its revenue sources, especially when it comes to taxes. It seems that being technically accurate has replaced genuine honesty. A number of taxes were set to expire this year, taxes that the Executive Budget Proposal reinstates. These aren’t little, negligible assessments here or there, they amount to millions of dollars.
For example, a utility surcharge, also known as the 18-a assessment, if renewed will cost taxpayers $255 million in the first fiscal year. Not only is this tax regressive, harming lower-income households, it is poised to hinder economic growth. Again, these aren’t new taxes per se, but they are set to expire and should be allowed to do so to offer relief to taxpayers.
Falling back on disingenuous technicalities gives a free pass to Albany to continue to strangle struggling households and small business owners. We should instead be honest about every aspect of this budget from spending to revenue, and use our collective resources and creativity to generate a better plan that continues to lower taxes and spending while supporting economic growth.
Finally, I would like to mention that some of New York’s greatest successes came from the give and take between the governor, the Assembly, the Senate and input from the public. Whether we are addressing the budget, radical changes to state laws or any other action taken in Albany that affects New York families and small businesses, we must do so openly to maintain the confidence of all New Yorkers.
I encourage Gov. Cuomo to fully disclose the process for which items like casino siting will be decided. There must be more than just a handful of individuals making the decisions behind closed doors. The media, the public and the legislature should know what the governor’s intentions are on these important matters. We are eager and willing to work with the governor, which would enable us to develop common sense solutions for every challenge faced by our state.
Assemblyman Jordan welcomes comments and input on the budget or any other state issue. Share your ideas by calling him at 747-7098 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.