By Assemblyman Karl Brabenec
With the New Year comes many new challenges, and more importantly, new questions on how to spend your, the taxpayer’s, money. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address included much of the same tax-and-spend policies that have driven millions out of New York and the state into a projected $4 billion budget deficit. It is time to stop painting this false narrative that the upstate economy is booming, advertising lies with millions of your hard-earned tax dollars.
The governor has spent $354 million in advertisements since 2011, including $53 million on the infamous Start-Up NY program, which, as of the end of 2016, only created a total of 1,135 jobs. That’s $46,696 spent for each job created – of your money. Not to mention $5.4 billion that has been dolled out by the Governor’s handpicked cronies to fund Regional Economic Development Council Awards (REDC) since 2011. Only a select few were chosen winners by Gov. Cuomo (aka Bob Barker) in New York’s edition of the ‘Price is Right.’
These funds represent billions that could have gone toward cutting property-taxes, where some Hudson Valley-area bills are as high as mortgage payments, fully funding our schools and rebuilding some of the nation’s worst roads, bridges and highways.
By incentivizing families to stay here, or move to New York, we create healthier communities and a wider tax base. I have introduced legislation, supported by both Republicans and Democrats, which has the potential to cut your total property-tax bill by as much as 70 percent on average.
The same reckless tax-and-spend policies have led to the same tragic results for New York under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership. It is time that we focus on accountability, transparency and higher standards in this year’s budget.
It is time to make New York an enviable place to start a business, build a career and raise a family. It is time to create economic growth and freedom, and it is time to make New York the Empire State once again.