Budget Talks Stall As Assemblyman McKevitt Demands Property Tax Reform

Assembly majority refuses to budge on property tax reform
March 28, 2006

The budget deadline is less than a week away and property taxes have yet to be discussed in the ongoing budget talks. Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I – East Meadow) notes that while negotiations have been successful in some areas, many important issues have been pushed to the back burner. McKevitt spoke today to assert the fact that property taxes need to be openly discussed as soon as possible so a solution can be developed.

“Our residents keep telling us that something needs to be done about property taxes,” stated Assemblyman McKevitt. “Owning a home is the American dream, and unfortunately the crushing burden of property taxes has eliminated the dream for many. I feel their pain; that is why I so strongly support my conference’s ‘Saving Our Homes’ plan. We have a great opportunity to lower taxes and save money for our taxpayers, but it seems that our opposition doesn’t even want to discuss it. It is coming down to crunch time, and they need to see the urgency that surrounds this issue.”

The Assembly minority revealed their property tax plan months ago, yet members of the majority choose to ignore it. Budget talks have stalled, and members of both sides of the aisle have come to an impasse over how to deal with property taxes.

“There is a simple solution,” said McKevitt. “It is outlined in our plan. Now we need to show the majority how important this is, and how easy it would be to solve the problem.”

Providing Long Island’s school districts with a fair share of New York’s budget allotment is also one of Assemblyman McKevitt’s priorities.

“Schools in our area carry a heavy load and often do not receive the financial aid that they need,” added McKevitt. “Long Island’s schools educate 17 percent of students in New York, but they receive only 12 percent of the funding. It is possible for us to lower your taxes while increasing school aid, and that is what I intend to do. I am confident that we will be able to show them the light, that we cannot wait anymore. We need to move on this issue now.”