Senator Joe Robach joined his colleagues in the State Senate in voting for a bipartisan budget that balances the budget without raising taxes or fees, increases school aid funding and provides significant business and property tax relief. The one-house spending plan was approved by a vote of 36-19.
“This bipartisan budget resolution will provide needed tax relief for hardworking families, businesses and manufacturers throughout New York, and continues to control state spending, something I take very seriously,” said Senator Joe Robach. “I applaud my colleagues in the State Senate for recognizing the needs of New Yorkers, and the importance of creating a more business-friendly atmosphere so we can create more jobs and improve our state’s economy.”
Other highlights from the Senate One-House Budget include:
• Increases school aid by $811.9 million over last year.
• Restores $541 million of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), a controversial budget maneuver enacted by the previous Senate Democrat Leadership. Under this plan, the GEA will be completely eliminated in two years after a total restoration of $1.1 billion – helping our schools and property taxpayers.
• The Senate budget provides $145 million to school districts outside New York City for Universal Pre-K expansion, while also giving school districts flexibility to use the funding for kindergarten and GEA restoration.
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
• In addition to the $811.9 million increase in state school aid, the resolution includes the Senate’s “Freeze-Plus NY” program – a property tax freeze that would provide $1.4 billion in additional property tax relief over two years.
• The program – a simpler alternative to a tax freeze proposed by the Governor – would also make the property tax cap permanent, strengthen the STAR program, and help local governments and school districts keep within the property tax cap.
TAX CUTS AND JOB CREATION
• The Senate budget expands tax relief statewide for manufacturers and accelerates the elimination of the job-killing 18-a energy tax surcharge on businesses so they can use the resulting savings to hire new workers and grow.
• The Senate is proposing the College Affordability Plan which would help middle-class families afford higher education, pay off their student loan debt and encourage graduates to start a career in New York State.
• Specifically, it increases tuition assistance for low- and middle-income taxpayers, makes more students eligible for TAP, creates a low-interest revolving loan fund to help students pay off loan debt, and establishes a new tax credit for graduates who stay and work in New York.
Under the Budget Reform Act of 2007, both houses of the State Legislature will now convene in open conference committees to resolve differences in their one-house budget resolutions. The state’s new fiscal year begins April 1.
For more information on the Senate plan, contact the office of Joe Robach.