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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

County legislature reacts to state budget

Members of the Rensselaer County Legislature voice their concern Tuesday that the $121.1 billion 2009-2010 budget introduced by Gov. David Paterson included many tax increases and fees which could be harmful to county residents in light of the already troubled national economy.

"The proposed budget includes more than seven dozen tax or fee increases. Those hikes will only make the impacts of the downturn worse for our residents and businesses," said Neil Kelleher, chairman of the legislature.

"We know the state is dealing with huge fiscal problems, but tax increases and fee hikes are not the way to go. They will take more money out of the pockets of residents and businesses and that may make things worse," said Vice Chairman for Finance Richard Salisbury.

The legislators were also concerned that Paterson's budget did not give counties more power to reduce instances of Medicaid and welfare fraud when state mandated spending currently requires 90 cents out of every county tax dollar.

"The governor should use the budget to give counties more tools to fight abuse and fraud. Millions upon millions of dollars could potentially be recovered if obstacles were removed," said Thomas Walsh, Sr., vice chairman of the legislature.

Additionally, concerns were raised about the fact that the state budget includes 88 new or increased taxes and fees on everything from cable TV to sugary sodas.

"I can't recall a state budget that included so many tax increases for so many different things," said Legislator Martin Reid. "This budget will really hit New Yorkers hard because it would impact nearly every aspect of their lives."

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Republicans really cared as Rich Crist tries to make them sound by spinning, the Legislature should start by giving back the raises they gave themselves.

That would tell me they care about the taxpayers, not playing the blame game all the time.

Take some responsibility.

December 22, 2008 at 7:30 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to see the GOP in Rensselaer Co. are continuing to fight these crazy taxes...what a disaster it would be to see these new taxes go into effect.

What is a real shame is that no local Democrats have opposed these tax hikes. Is that because it is their party's governor who is proposing the tax hikes?

January 1, 2009 at 5:44 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is the governor so quick to propose taxes on everything that pertain to the lower and middle class,yet he rejected the suggestion to tax people making $250,000. or better yearly?The carmakers had agreed to work for $1.00.Why doesn't Pattison do the same and see what it's like to struggle?He has no clue whatsoever.

January 3, 2009 at 12:56 PM 

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