A Time to give Thanks

November 22, 2017

Friend –

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect the good in our lives, which, after a tumultuous year for many, seems to resonate especially well in 2017. I’m thankful to be able to continue to represent the Capital Region in Albany, and for the support and enthusiasm I find in the community, and from constituents, colleagues, and family.

Small Business Saturday: The first Saturday after Thanksgiving marks Small Business Saturday, and I’m thrilled to share that businesses across the 109th are participating. Please consider shopping small this holiday season; our region is home to so many innovators and entrepreneurs - let's do our part to support them.

Albany: The Downtown Albany BID will be hosting events (including a Nipper scavenger hunt!) and businesses will be offering discounts Saturday. Lark Street businesses that are part of the Lark Street BID will have products marked 10%-20% off and will be offering special deals throughout the day.

Bethlehem: The Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce is an official partner for November 25th's Small Business Saturday national initiative to help small businesses with their most pressing need - getting more customers. Read more about offers from local vendors here.

Guilderland: The Guilderland Chamber of Commerce will be hosting local home-based businesses in their office at 2050 Western Avenue from 10:00 AM -3:00 PM. This is a great opportunity to find local hidden gems! Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland will be hosting a variety of events and specials all day long.

State Parks Open Free to Public on Black Friday: The Governor has announced free admission to all New York State parks this Black Friday, November 24th, to encourage New Yorkers and their families to take advantage of the more than 335,000 acres of state-owned land next weekend. During Thanksgiving weekend, State Parks offers various family-friendly events and programs at locations across the state. A full list of state park programs on Black Friday and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is available here.

New Legislation Targets Equalization Rates in Guilderland: On Tuesday, Senator George Amedore and I introduced three pieces of joint legislation to address a spike in the school portion of property taxes which affected numerous Guilderland residents after a change in the town’s equalization rate. Residents who live in Guilderland, but live outside of the Guilderland Central School District saw significant increases in their property taxes, with the largest increases over $1,700, due to a change in Guilderland’s equalization rate. The bills are a product of collaboration with affected residents, state agencies, and Guilderland officials. The bills create three special segmented assessment areas, require equalization rates to be finalized 30 days before the levy of property taxes, and require municipal assessors to notify town and county officials, as well as affected school districts, if the assessment rate used to create the tax rolls is greater than 5% different from the tentative equalization rate provided by the NYS Department of Tax and Finance.

Job Opportunities: New York State has set up a new job portal entitled Jobs Express, where thousands of private and public sector jobs are listed. Visit jobs.ny.gov for more information on how to apply for these opportunities.

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook, on Twitter, or my Times Union Blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note or give is a call at 518-455-4178.