I’d buy you a house! A few years ago maybe, but today, I’d be a little hesitant. Considering New York State’s economy is not in the best shape, not to mention that the Senate and Assembly budget (that is still not set in stone!) plan rejected the inclusion of a property tax cap, maybe I wouldn’t even be able to afford that house. Or maybe I can afford the dream house but without the property tax cap I can’t seem to continue to afford the taxes. In Albany, it seems as if you have to keep spending (and taxing) in order to get something back. Cutting spending is no longer the “cool thing to do.”
Along those similar lines, it looks like unemployed New Yorkers aren’t the only ones not “reaping benefits.” The legislators are not getting paid! Well, scratch that. The legislators are receiving a “measly” $170 per day for time spent in Albany and other travel while $4.9 million in legislative paychecks are being held by the state comptroller’s office. Although it is the Senate that has yet to vote on the final bill, the Senate Democrats are using this “negotiating” strategy to get key policy issues, through the reluctant Assembly, to be considered, including property tax relief, a contingency fund if Albany doesn’t get the $1 billion in expected federal Medicaid money and the SUNY schools autonomy issue. Without that final bill to complete the budget, the paychecks will not commence.
For some, but not all, legislators are really starting to feel the burn. Most legislators hold second jobs, with dozens having jobs with law firms…they seem to be ok. For those, who do not have such esteemed positions outside of their “elected official duties” it is not so pleasant. I say, welcome to the world of unemployment, layoffs etc. The only difference being that the legislators, at some point, will get paid the missing part of their salary. All of the taxpayers and NYS residents that are out of work will not. But there’s always unemployment benefits…right? Barely.
The point is, pass a budget! Not just any old budget, but a budget that will keep businesses here, bring businesses here and allow New York State taxpayers to be able to afford to stay here.
As some of our legislators “suffer” under these conditions, maybe, just maybe they’ll start thinking differently. Wouldn’t it be smart for the legislators to use their current “setback” as an example for our state budget? If the money is not there, then you cannot spend it. If the money is not there, then you cannot create imaginary revenue. One can only hope.
If I had a million dollars…I’d buy some of them a clue.