I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge something very special. After intensifying our social media efforts less than a year ago, we have shot past  12,000 Facebook fans and are now approaching 13,000. Since launching our 2010 Challenge last July, we’ve averaged 40 new fans a day. That’s incredible! Collectively, Unshackle Upstate is now one of, if not the, largest on-line political movement in New York. I can’t tell you how excited and thankful we are that so many New Yorkers are now engaged in the political battle to save our state.

The increasing interactions on Facebook is simply inspiring. We’ve been reading and responding to your posts and one thing is clear – you’re fired up about our government’s shameful ways. And rightfully so. Families and businesses are being crushed with sky high taxes while state leaders continue to spend money they simply don’t have. That’s what why we launched our Judgment Day campaign in February.   Rather than endlessly screaming about what is wrong in Albany, we’re actually doing something about it!

Unshackle Upstate is currently fighting against the following 2010-11 budgetary provisions:

  • 2010-11 Executive Budget (Spending) – the 2010-11 state budget proposal is $134 billion; that’s an increase of 12 percent in two years.
  • The 3-percent severance tax on natural gas from Marcellus or Utica Shale. (S6610 / A9710 – Part A).
  • Establishment of a circuit breaker tax credit and a state spending cap, versus a property tax cap, at 2.5 percent. (S6610 /A9710 – Part Q).
  • Forcing non-union home-based childcare providers to pay union dues. (S.6607/A.9707 – Part DD).
  • Proposed Increase in Local Utility Taxes (GRT) (S6606/A9706 – Part HH).
  • Excessive health care taxes, fees and assessments (S.6608/A.9708 – Part B, C, D).
  • Continuation of the Waste Tire Management Fee, which was scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2010. (S6609 / A9709 – Part DD).

We also support the reduction of overall state spending and the repeal of onerous budget provisions enacted last year such as:

  • A license plate fee increase of $10.
  • The utility surcharge (Section 18) which raised fees from one-third of a percent to two percent for most taxpayers.

Unshackle Upstate is  putting legislators on notice that these are the items in the budget that we oppose.  Any legislator that votes for a budget with these items will be judged accordingly through the Judgment Day Scorecard.  We’re advocating at the Capitol for the immediate removal of these anti-taxpayer items.  Our hope is that these Judgment Day Scorecards will serve as a invaluable tool when it comes time for you to cast your ballot in November. That’s what the Judgment Day campaign is all about – educating and empowering voters across New York to make the best decision  possible on November 2.

Unshackle Upstate Megaphone

But our work is not done. We need the Unshackle Army to continue to grow and we need your help to make it happen. Please continue to tell your friends, families and coworkers about our efforts. Our impact in the halls of the Capital grows with every new voice we have on our side. We’re very thankful for your continued support – without it, none of this would be possible.

Judgment Day is less than seven months away!  Let’s keep this amazing momentum going and fight for change in Albany!