Crouch Holds Meeting at the Accord Fire Department

June 11, 2007

Assemblyman Cliff Crouch (R-Guilford) visited constituents in his district last Thursday at the Town of Accord Fire Department Social Hall. Crouch gave an update of the state Assembly’s progress this session.

“I am glad to have had the opportunity to address the Town Board and residents of my district,” said Crouch, who held the availability immediately following a Town Board meeting. “This gives me an opportunity to see constituents face to face and hear their concerns. I appreciate everyone who attended.”

Crouch began by pointing out the passage of an on-time budget for the third year in a row. Among the highlights of the budget was the property tax relief that was included. The Enhanced STAR program provides more relief for middle-class homeowners, targeting those people who need the relief most.

Crouch went on to point out that this year’s budget included record increases in school aid, including an increase of $1.5 million, or 8.74%, for Rondout Valley.

Although much progress has been made this year, more remains to be done before the end of the legislative session, Crouch stated. One of the things he will continue to fight for is the expansion of the state’s DNA database, which would help identify and convict criminals to keep them off our streets.

Crouch will also be fighting for the Assembly minority conference’s “Property Taxpayer Protection Act,” which is a proposal to cap the rate at which property taxes can be raised each year at no more than four percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. According to Crouch, in the 1980s, Massachusetts led the nation in property tax rates. After they instituted Proposition 2, which capped property tax rate increases, they cut their property tax burden. As a result, Massachusetts is now ranked 32nd in the nation in terms of property tax rates.

Finally, Crouch will be supporting passage of the Assembly minority’s plan to cut gas taxes, promote alternative fuels and vehicles, and require all Thruway rest stops to offer E-85 fuel pumps. The plan cuts the cost of fuel by 12.5 cents per gallon, which would regulate gas prices to the point they are in line with the regional average tax rate.