Residents Add Voices At Raia’s LI Budget Forum

Governor’s 2009-10 budget proposal weighed amid troubling economic climate
February 17, 2009

Assemblyman Raia (l) joins other state representatives on February 13 for the public budget discussion.

Hauppauge, NY – Members of the New York State Assembly Minority conference, including Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C-East Northport), held a public forum on Friday, February 13 in order to discuss Governor David Paterson’s proposed 2009-10 Executive Budget. Raia and other members of the Assembly Minority Long Island delegation asked the public to weigh in on the proposed budget and examine how it will affect Long Island residents and businesses.

“At a time when Long Islanders are struggling to pay their mortgages, property taxes and ever-increasing fees, we need to focus on the state’s actions and how they affect taxpayers, businesses and local municipalities,” said Raia. “I worry that the state’s failure to fully fund its mandates and programs will cause a rise in property taxes. Long Islanders need the Middle Class STAR Rebate Program now more than ever.”

Long Island has some of the highest property taxes in the state. Nassau County ranks second in the nation for highest median property taxes and Suffolk ranks twelfth. The proposed budget does not include a tax cap to protect homeowners and eliminates the Middle Class STAR Rebate Program. Overall STAR program funding will decrease by $1.7 billion. As a result, the proposed budget offers little protection to homeowners.