Albany, N.Y. – 03/31/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) released the following statement regarding the 2014-2015 State Budget. The budget includes $1.5 Billion in property tax relief for hardworking families, more than $1 billion in increased school aid, a two-year delay on controversial Common Core standards, tax cuts to help businesses create new job opportunities and so much more.
“Unfortunately, for most of us, New York is a tough state to live, work and raise a family. Taxes and government spending are the evil cabal, forcing seniors, working families and small business owners out of the state. We didn’t get here over night; it was a series of bad decisions, focused on taxing and spending, made over several decades that got us here. The good news is that with our new Majority and this Governor, we have begun to turn the battleship of New York back in the right direction,” said Senator Greg Ball.
“In a real way, this budget delivers additional property tax relief to hardworking taxpayers, reduces costs for businesses so they can create new jobs and gives students the tools they need to receive a first-class education. Working with the Governor, we successfully expanded the EPIC program for seniors, and eliminated the corporate tax for manufacturers statewide. Working across party lines, we also have delivered comprehensive, bipartisan ethics and election reforms that will increase transparency and restore confidence in government. This budget agreement takes meaningful steps toward making New York more affordable for blue-collar families and seniors, businesses and taxpayers. The reduction in the 18A energy tax, lowering the corporate tax rate and a real property tax break for manufacturers are all long overdue and are essential to improving New York’s economy,” added Senator Greg Ball. “I am also pleased to see the Estate Tax reformed to help working families, small business owners and family farms stay in New York.”
Highlights of the 2014-15 State Budget from the Senate Majority Press Office include:
$1.5 Billion in New Property Tax Relief
The 2014-15 State Budget will include a new property tax relief program that will provide taxpayers with $1.5 billion in direct property tax relief over the next three years for taxpayers in school and municipalities that develop plans to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, or have already implemented cost reduction plans at the local level.
As many as 2.8 million property taxpayers could receive direct property tax rebates as a result of this program which will encourage communities to keep property taxes under control.
$1.1 billion increase in school aid
The increase in school aid will help ensure a quality education for every child. The aid will be distributed fairly and equitably across New York and will address the negative impact of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) on school districts.
All 20 schools across the 40th Senate district will receive a combined $17,521,885 increase from last year, a 7.8% increase.
The budget also includes a two-year delay on the use of the controversial common core testing for grade promotion decisions for children from third to eighth grades and measures to eliminate unnecessary standardized testing to focus more classroom time on teaching, rather than testing.
Tax cuts to create new jobs
The budget includes tax relief measures will help small businesses and manufacturers succeed, grow and help create new job opportunities for every New Yorker
It includes job-creating tax cut proposals that eliminate the corporate tax on manufacturers this year, a real property tax credit of 20 percent for manufacturers that lease or own property, accelerating the elimination of the 18-a energy tax surcharge to save all business and residential ratepayers $600 million over the next three years and increasing the estate tax exemption over the next five years from $1 million to match the federal exemption of $5 million.
The budget includes sweeping ethics reform measures to ensure the public’s trust in government including: creating the new crime of Corrupting the Government and increasing penalties for bribery, and public corruptions crimes; stricter penalties for theft of state or local government property; permanently barring individuals or businesses convicted of public corruption from holding any elected or civil office, serving as a lobbyist or doing business with the state; establishing a public campaign financing pilot program, not funded by taxpayer dollars, to be used for the 2014 race for state Comptroller; creating an independent enforcement unit at the state Board of Elections; and bringing enhanced disclosure and reporting by the independent expenditure organizations that have expanded in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens United v. F.E.C..
The 2014-15 State Budget addresses important health care issues facing New Yorkers by providing funding for the following initiatives and programs: $1.2 billion over seven years for health care facilities restructuring, to ensure that New Yorkers continue to have access to quality health care services at hospitals, clinics and nursing homes; eliminating surprise billing for Out-Of-Network medical procedures; 2.5 million increase to the Doctor’s Across New York Program to bring doctors to rural regions of the states to ensure access to primary care health services; a $5 million increase in funding for Spinal Cord Injury Research program, bringing total funding to $7.5 million; $450,000 for Opioid prevention, treatment, and addiction services to address the growing problems of heroin addiction; a $1.8 million increase in funding for rape crisis centers, bringing total funding to $3.6 million; $3.9 million to ensure that providers of Early Intervention Services are paid; $25.3 million for cancer services programs; $2.3 million for prenatal care; and $433,000 for the Adelphi Breast Cancer Support program.
Expanded Prescription Drug Assistance for Seniors
The budget will expand the number of senior citizens eligible for the EPIC prescription drug program by increasing the income eligibility limits from $35,000 to $75,000 for individuals and from $50,000 to $100,000 for married enrollees.
The budget also includes a $5 million increase in funding for community services for the elderly, such as transportation assistance, respite care, and home delivery meals.
Investing in Higher Education
The 2014-15 State Budget includes a new round of economic development grants for the SUNY 2020 and CUNY 2020 programs. Each university system will receive $55 million for projects that target academic success, more job opportunities for students and new public-private partnerships.
In addition, the budget increases base aid support for community colleges by $75 for each full-time equivalent student, which represents a total increase of $15.1 million for SUNY and CUNY community colleges. Funding for tuition assistance (TAP) is increased by $34 million, to help more young New Yorkers afford the cost of a higher education.
Overall state operating support for the state’s public university systems is increased by $178 million for SUNY and $104 million for CUNY.
Improving Local Roads & Bridges
To ensure that our roads and bridges are safe, the budget includes $3.7 billion in funds for capital improvement projects. The money will be used for road and bridge projects, as well as for projects related to aviation, rail, non-MTA transit and bus services. In addition, the budget increases operating aid for transit authorities by $2.8 million.
Also, the 2014-15 State Budget continues the record increase in transportation aid for a total of $438.1 million in funds to local governments for repair and maintenance of roads through the CHIPS program. It also includes new, additional funding of $40 million to local governments to fix surface road damage and the large number of potholes created by the brutal winter.
Senator Greg Ball is enlisting the support of the community to help identity the areas that are in dire need of attention. If you know of a pothole, please visit Senator Ball’s website by visiting: nysenate.gov/webform/report-pothole.
A Cleaner Environment
In an effort to ensure that New Yorkers can enjoy clean water and clean air, the new state budget will increase the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) by $9 million, bringing the EPF to $162 million.
In addition, the budget will make an investment of $92.5 million from the NY Works program to make much-needed repairs and improvements at state parks across the state, as well as $40 million to make additional improvements to environmental infrastructure such as wastewater systems and recreational facilities.
Funding for child care subsidies for low income families is increased by $55 million over last year.
For the fourth consecutive year the budget will reduce taxes and will keep overall spending growth below two percent – the same level imposed on local governments and school districts by the property tax cap.
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