Final State Budget Plan Includes Billions in Tax Increases and School Aid Cuts – Still No Cap on Local Property Taxes
WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today expressed deep disappointment in Senator Oppenheimer and her Democratic colleagues in the Legislature for adopting a late budget that includes $4 billion in new taxes while cutting $1.4 billion in state aid to schools.
“Somehow Senator Oppenheimer and her allies in the Legislature have contrived a spending scheme that includes increases in taxes and overall spending, but reduces state aid to schools,” said Cohen. “Even in the midst of a financial crisis they cannot get their priorities straight.”
The final budget eliminates tax credits for business, suspends the sales tax exemption on clothing, and allows state and local governments to borrow from the state pension fund to make required contributions to the same fund – resulting in a hidden $1,300 tax on homeowners outside New York City. Missing in the final plan is the reinstatement of $1.4 billion in state school aid previously cut and a cap on out-of-control local school property taxes.Read more
Taxpayers Paid an Extra $230 for Senator to Drive to Albany and ‘Work’ for 12 Minutes
WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today blamed Senator Oppenheimer and her colleagues in the Senate leadership for the lack of a single accomplishment in the special session called by the Governor this week. Because of a parliamentary procedure that allows the Democratic majority to gavel into session and immediately gavel out without taking up a single bill, Senator Oppenheimer took a futile, all expenses paid trip to Albany courtesy of taxpayers.
“There is a lot of unfinished business that could have been taken care of – not the least of which being a property tax cap,” said Cohen. “But Senator Oppenheimer and her allies in the Democratic leadership chose to block the Governor’s agenda, take no actions of their own, and enjoy a free trip to Albany at taxpayer expense.”
Cohen noted that in addition to the property tax cap, there were several other important bills on the Governor’s agenda, including an extension of the Power for Jobs program and a proposed budget contingency plan should the state not receive $1 billion in federal Medicaid (FMAP) assistance.Read more
Candidate: With Westchester Households Paying the Highest Property Taxes in the Nation Senator Should Be Leading the Charge
WHITE PLAINS – Citing the growing momentum for a cap on local property taxes, state Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today called on Senator Oppenheimer to put aside her covenants with the Working Families Party and other special interests opposed to the cap, and lead an effort to enact the plan during Wednesday’s special session.
“For many Westchester families this could be the first tangible, positive development from Albany in many years,” said Cohen. “We’ve reached a crisis situation here. The growth rate of property taxes is unsustainable, especially for the elderly, working families and small businesses. Senator Oppenheimer needs to stop burying her head in the sand and support this legislation.”Read more
Domenic Procopio has been receiving “Special Illegal Privileges” for over a decade. These privileges include property tax breaks, school tax breaks, parking and moving violation breaks, etc… It was discovered that Domenic Procopio was and still is receiving STAR Tax breaks on more then one of his properties. STAR Tax break is ONLY eligible for a person’s primary residence. It was also discovered that Domenic Procopio was also receiving Combat Veteran Tax Breaks on his properties. The funny thing here is that Mr. Precopio NEVER served in any of the Armed Forces of these Great United States. So how was it that he was grated such a break? If you ask Mayor Noam Bramson, he’ll tell you it was a clerical error. BULL!!!. There is no way this was an error. This was a deliberate illegal favor given to Domenic Procopio by Tim Idoni, the current County Clerk and carried out by City Manager Chuck Strome and current Mayor Noam Bramson. The issue here is why hasn’t Domenic Procopio been relinquished of his title? I’ll tell you why. Political connections run deep. The corruption in New Rochelle City Hall is so bad that sitting elected officials are afraid to do anything in fear of all the scandals and corruption being uncovered.Read more
State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R, I, C - 37th District) yesterday announced that he has signed the Westchester County Association’s (WCA) Call to Action Campaign Pledge and chided Senator Oppenheimer for already breaking the promises she made when she signed.
“I applaud the WCA for their leadership in the fight to reform Albany and am honored to take an active part in their efforts,” said Cohen. “I am committed to the structural reforms the WCA is calling for and will fight to get them enacted as a member of the state Senate. Senator Oppenheimer may have also signed the pledge, but one would never know it from her actions. By voting for a budget that stands contrary to everything the pledge embodies, she has broken the promises she made when she signed on with the program.”
The pledge mirrors many elements of Cohen’s platform, calling on candidates for state Legislature to commit to fundamental reforms necessary to return the state to financial stability and economic competitiveness. Specifically, the pledge asks candidates to commit to the following:
* A balanced budget completed on time and without increased taxes, fees, assessment or borrowing
* Full disclosure of all outside income
* A non-partisan commission to redraw legislative district lines
WHITE PLAINS – Citing an ongoing federal investigation into the convoluted and secretive organizational structure and campaign practices of the Working Families Party (WFP), state Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R, I, C – 37th District) today called on incumbent Senator Oppenheimer to reject the Party’s endorsement. Cohen also said that the WFP’s big spending, anti-taxpayer agenda would do further damage to the weakened economy and a state government on the brink of financial collapse.
“If Senator Oppenheimer has any interest in reforming Albany and working toward lasting solutions to solve the state’s fiscal crisis, the first thing she needs to do is reject the endorsement of the Working Families Party,” said Cohen, who noted that the Senator has consistently run with the WFP endorsement in the past. “The Party is clearly standing in the way of reform and its radical, costly agenda would only add to the financial burdens already facing overtaxed New Yorkers.”Read more
SENATOR OPPENHEIMER JOINS WITH WESTCHESTER LIBRARY SYSTEM AND LOCAL LIBRARY DIRECTORS TO CALL FOR RESTORATION OF LIBRARY FUNDING IN NYS FY 2010-11 BUDGET
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today joined with representatives of the Westchester Library System (WLS) and local library directors to call for the restoration of library funding in the NYS FY 2010-11 budget.
The Governor’s proposed Executive Budget would cut state library funding to $84.5 million, a reduction of approximately $2.5 million over 2009-10 budget levels. If enacted, this would result in an $18 million reduction in state funding over the past three years and mark the fifth time that library funding has been cut over the same period. At Senator Oppenheimer’s insistence, the Senate budget resolution, adopted in March 2010, rejects the Governor’s proposal and would restore library funding to existing levels. But negotiations over the final budget are ongoing and injurious cuts to public libraries remain possible.Read more
WHITE PLAINS - State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R, I, C - 37th District) today condemned legislation passed by the Senate last week that threatens the supply of home heating oil and could increase costs by as much as $.90 per gallon in the event of a severe winter. Cohen called the measure another blow to Westchester families already suffering from out-of-control property taxes.
"With all of the attention focused on the Legislature's inability to negotiate a budget, it is easy to forget about the other lapses in common sense coming from Albany," said Cohen. "This one is inexcusable. People are having a hard enough time making ends meet. The last thing the Senate should be doing is finding ways to increase the cost of living."
The legislation (S.1145-C) would limit the sulfur content of heating oil to 15 parts per million by July 1, 2012. Engineering evaluations show that it will take a minimum of four years for refineries to have the proper infrastructure and processes in place to comply with the new mandate. A recent study found that the resulting shortage could lead to increases in costs of $.20 - $.30 per gallon in a mild winter, and as much as $.60 - $.90 per gallon in a severe winter. The added costs to New York home heating oil users ranges from $1 billion to $3 billion per winter and averages $600 per family.Read more