Latimer = Less State Aid & Higher Taxes!

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Latimer = Less State Aid & Higher Taxes!

October 17, 2012 - 23:14

We over at the New Rochelle GOP strongly support Bob Cohen.

However, we have to ask the following question:
Why is anyone in New Rochelle voting for Latimer? He has done absolutely nothing for New Rochelle in the majority of State Assembly - why would we send him back to Albany to be in minority of State Senate where he will be (shocking this is possible) even worse?

New Rochelle has lost tens of millions of dollars in state aid with Suzi Oppenheimer in minority of state senate for 28 years - we had to pay higher property taxes because of this - don't make the same mistake twice. Send Bob Cohen to Albany so that New Rochelle finally gets its fair share of state aid.

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For those of my friends who read Talk of the Sound, I thought it would be helpful to post objective responses to what I, a proud Republican, believe are unfounded and misleading attacks on Mr. Latimer's record. I am not an apologist for the pro-public union, soak the allegedly ‘rich’ policies of the Democrat platform. Rather, I'm disappointed by what many, including myself, see as a pattern of disingenuous attack pieces. I’ve known Mr. Latimer for many years and he is a good man worthy of respect and civility.

Thoughtful and civil discourse from Mr. Cohen explaining why the rationales set forth below are not legitimate and what Mr. Cohen would have done had he been in Mr. Latimer's shoes would be helpful and appreciated.

-Glen Smith

Please read the following which I have pasted from:

2% property tax cap: Latimer voted against the 2% tax cap -- because it was not coupled with any kind of mandate relief -- mandates that require municipalities, counties and school districts to provide programs and services but without any funding -- i.e., Albany mandates must be paid by those governmental entities that are funded predominantly by the property tax. A tax cap without mandate relief is a ticking time bomb for our schools, towns and counties. One of the most egregious unfunded mandates is requiring counties to pay for a major portion of Medicaid costs. New York is one of two states in the entire country where these costs --mandated from the State -- are pushed down to the county level for payment. On the education front, New York has a much more intensive level of mandated services for special education than is required by Federal law. And as well intentioned as these programs and requirements are -- Albany fails to provide any funding for these requirements-- further burdening the property tax payer. So George Latimer bravely voted no on the tax cap -- not because he’s for higher taxes (as the Cohen campaign has been relentlessly pushing) but due to the lack of concurrent mandate relief -- which still is not on the table in Albany yet. The result -- school districts like Port Chester had to make a decision to either end full-day kindergarten -- or an elementary school literacy program. They chose to end the literacy program.........this year. The tax cap has already adversely affected poorer school districts -- and more and wealthier school districts will get hit with layoffs, larger class sizes, and program eliminations.

MTA Tax: While Latimer has sponsored bill to eliminate the MTA payroll tax -- he felt compelled to vote for the its implementation when the MTA was on the brink of insolvency in 2009 -- and the only option on the table for Latimer was to vote for the MTA payroll tax -- or watch commuter fares more than quadruple. That was the Hobson’s Choice that Latimer faced -- and seeing the need to maintain a viable mass transit system in the New York metropolitan area -- held his nose and voted for the tax -- and ever since has been working for repeal and a viable long range plan for the MTA’s sustainability.

Tier Six Pension Plan -- in the arcane world of public sector pension policy (or lack thereof), a proposed Tier 6 was proposed which would lessen the pension benefits of public employees hired in the future. This was buried in an avalanche of bills at the very end of the legislative session earlier this year-- and seeing that there was no immediate or even near-term relief from skyrocketing pension costs and how the bill was delivered to legislators -- with no time to read it and/or amend it -- Latimer -- acting on sound policy principles (and again, perhaps unsound politics) -- abstained on the measure.