Oppenheimer to Overtaxed New Yorkers: Take a Hike!

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Final State Budget Plan Includes Billions in Tax Increases and School Aid Cuts – Still No Cap on Local Property Taxes

WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today expressed deep disappointment in Senator Oppenheimer and her Democratic colleagues in the Legislature for adopting a late budget that includes $4 billion in new taxes while cutting $1.4 billion in state aid to schools.

“Somehow Senator Oppenheimer and her allies in the Legislature have contrived a spending scheme that includes increases in taxes and overall spending, but reduces state aid to schools,” said Cohen. “Even in the midst of a financial crisis they cannot get their priorities straight.”

The final budget eliminates tax credits for business, suspends the sales tax exemption on clothing, and allows state and local governments to borrow from the state pension fund to make required contributions to the same fund – resulting in a hidden $1,300 tax on homeowners outside New York City. Missing in the final plan is the reinstatement of $1.4 billion in state school aid previously cut and a cap on out-of-control local school property taxes.

Cohen said that the $4 billion in new taxes combined with Senator Oppenheimer’s vote last year to eliminate the STAR tax rebate program will be a crushing blow to households already coping with difficult economic times.

“As the chair of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Oppenheimer should be leading efforts to reform the state school aid formula so districts do not have to endure billions in cuts any given year and can operate within the confines of a local property tax cap,” said Cohen. “Instead, she has voted to eliminate property tax relief, increase state spending, increase taxes, and cut state school aid – and we still have no property tax cap.”