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Statement by Senator Griffo on State Budget Agreement
ALBANY, N.Y. - State Senator Joseph Griffo (R,I,C – Rome) today reacted angrily to closed-door budget agreements that neglect Upstate New York and leave middle class property taxpayers to fend for themselves.
“The budget abandons Upstate New York and the middle class property taxpayers who needed relief from Albany,” Griffo said. “At a time when we needed restraint, this budget spends $131 billion, increasing the state budget at seven times the rate of inflation. At a time when we needed real reform and fiscal restraint, this budget buries the people of Upstate in new taxes and new fees that will perpetuate the image of New York State as a high-tax state.”
Griffo said the budget bills that were produced after closed-door wheeling and dealing failed to meet the needs of the people of New York State. “When this process began, it was an opportunity to reform New York’s dysfunctional budgeting process and the even worse big spending mentality that has dominated Albany,” Griffo said. “After listless leadership dropped a few of the absurd taxes and fees that were proposed as a result of Legislative and community efforts, we are still faced with increasing costs on residents’ everyday lives, such as going fishing and hunting, driving a car or motorcycle, having life insurance, lighting and heating your home, using a cell phone, drinking beer, wine or bottled-water and buying cigarettes and cigars.
Griffo continued, “So here we are, with the sorry spectacle of the most secretive budget process in recent memory, cutting closed-door deals to meet the needs of the downstate interests who are at the table. With Upstate New York not in the room, not in the picture, and not in the minds of the leaders whose main focus is the MTA, Wall Street, polls, non-finance related bills like ‘Rockefeller Drug law reform’ and everything except the dire need of Upstate New York for economic revival.”
Griffo said the budget fails Upstate by not providing mandate relief, ending middle class STAR rebates, providing no property tax relief to those of who pay high property taxes and adding to fees that will burden upstate employers and working families.