Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) today expressed concern over the looming budget deficit and reiterated that the state must make hard choices to solve long-term problems.
While I understand the governors approach to tie spending to the increase in income growth, there are clear signs that our economy is in trouble, said Fitzpatrick. In light of the coming recession, spending must be cut even further and we can no longer rely on temporary fixes. The time has come to make hard choices, curtail excessive spending and relieve the burden we are placing on hardworking taxpayers and small businesses throughout the state.
The governors executive budget includes a 5.1% increase in state spending, almost twice the rate of inflation, despite the state currently facing a $4.4 billion budget deficit. The proposals include nearly $2 billion in new taxes, fees and fines, which would cost the average family an additional $473 a year. The budget also includes $1.1 billion in non-recurring revenue and a $350 million decrease in property tax rebates. Many Long Island schools also will see a decrease in state funding under the governors proposal.
The state is currently $53 billion in debt and we cannot continue to mortgage our future by relying on one shot revenue streams and borrowed money, said Fitzpatrick. Lowering the costs of doing business and reducing property taxes are the fastest ways to reinvigorate the Long Island economy. Unfortunately, while the governor presented a few interesting ideas, raising the gas tax on Long Island commuters and decreasing property tax relief on overburdened homeowners is not an effective approach.