Statement From Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I-East Meadow) On Spitzerís Budget Hikes On The Middle Class

January 22, 2008

Just as in his State of the State Address, Governor Spitzerís Executive Budget provides some promise, but in the end, it fails to deliver for Long Island families. Although our state is facing a budget deficit, the Governorís Budget increases spending by more than the current rate of inflation. Once again, Governor Spitzer is ignoring the financial squeeze being placed on middle-class families and seniors.

Long Island families should be seriously concerned about the broken promises made by this Governor to provide proper school funding and increase property tax rebates for homeowners. Just like last year, Governor Spitzer is attempting to cut the funding needed for schools on Long Island, stealing our fair share in order to bolster New York City schools. Long Island is only getting $112 million this year, whereas if last yearís rate were in place, it would be $182 million. That is unacceptable. Even worse, the Governor is cutting $550 million in funds for middle-class families Ė resulting in a less than promised amount for 2008 STAR Rebate Checks.

The Governor didnít stop there. He also decided to increase taxes on HMOs and Health Care Organizations. These costs will inevitably be passed on to us, even though Governor Spitzer has constantly campaigned for affordable health care. Health care costs continually increase, even without these new taxes, and seniors and families alike can no longer bear these costs.

One thing is obvious: Governor Spitzer still does not understand the needs of Long Islanders. Thatís why I will work with my colleagues to place a cap on property taxes, provide STAR Rebate Checks at the amount promised, oppose any measure that will increase the costs of health care, and fight for our proper share of school aid. I understand the financial squeeze being placed on the middle class and I will stand up to the Governor whenever he places our seniors and families in such dire positions.