Albany Reaches Budget Agreement – Vote Pending

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says an agreement has been reached on the 2014 – 2015 state budget..  The agreements allows for $1.5 billion dollars in property tax relief for New York homeowners.. The caviat, is that the relief is linked to and conditioned on approved plans for local governments to become more efficient, in fact the requirement is for local governments to find 10% in savings from collaboration which could be difficult for many who have already been working towards savings in the North Country..   The Budget also adds 5% to School Aid from last year and provides for universal full day pre-k.. The Governor has also included a bond act to mondernize classrooms..  and Signature reforms to fix Common Core implementation and protect students from unfair high stakes test results, as well as strengthen and support Charter Schools..

Governor Cuomo says “Investments included in the Budget will make New York safer by strengthening penalties to crack down on texting-while-driving,  make New York cleaner by growing the Environmental Protection Fund, and make New York fairer by allocating funding to help raise the age at which juveniles are tried.”

The agreement paves the way for final passage of the 2014-2015 State Budget.

Saranac Lake Mayor Rabideau Applauds new Budget

The new state budget deal is giving local governments “lots of incentives” and keeping New York going in the right direction, declared Mayor Clyde Rabideau today after being notified that a new state budget was agreed upon, two days before the April 1st deadline, pointing towards a fourth-straight on-time budget adoption, a record of sorts in a state where rancorous past-due budgets were the routine and customary.

Said Rabideau, “By pushing to cut property taxes and smartly investing in our schools, Governor Cuomo and the leaders of the state legislature have placed New York on a path for growth and success. This budget agreement delivers important tax relief for homeowners and businesses as well as a major funding increase to transform our schools. I applaud all involved for their hard work in getting to this point.”

Rabideau recounted the success of the 2% tax cap enacted three years ago and how attitudes on the local have changed since then.  “At first, it sounded harsh and un-doable to local leaders and a fantasy to local tax payers who were annually pummeled with out-of-control property tax increases,” said Rabideau.  “But now local governments and taxpayers expect and demand that the 2% tax cap be adhered to and it is now the ‘new norm.’”

Rabideau sees the Governor’s “Tax Relief Plan” panning out in much the same fashion.

In the first year under the new reform plan, New Yorkers will receive a tax credit if their local governments stay within the property tax cap.  The tax credit will be extended for a second year in jurisdictions which comply with the tax cap and have put forward a plan to save 1 percent of their tax levy per year, over three years.

Said Rabideau, “The Governor has laid it plainly to us on the local level and will back up the plan with tax credits to our constituents if we stick with the tax cap and find a way to share services and find ways we shall as our constituents will demand nothing less.”


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