Over the past weeks and months, we have had many conversations about the tax cap and why we felt it was a necessary tool for New York to start to control costs. We also knew that in order for the cap to be as effective as possible, there needed to be significant and meaningful mandate relief to control costs. And since the bulk of local government costs are in workforce areas (pay and benefits), roughly 70-80 percent of the cost, then we needed to talk about those cost drivers.
The reality is that when you talk about workforce costs, you run afoul of those groups that would prefer to keep the status quo. Truly, there are people out there who would prefer that we not change a thing, who believe the cost and tax structure of the state are just fine. We shared some of their thoughts in a recent blog post, http://blog.unshackleupstate.com/2011/11/let-ny-work/. Those same people are now out with another diatribe on the tax cap. You can read some of it here.
Mr. Donohue wants you to believe that the cap will undermine our quality of life. He writes, “Hard to imagine why the Governor has taken to an advertising campaign to pat himself on the back for his ‘accomplishments’ that make it harder for localities to manage their budgets and diminish the quality of life in our communities.” Once again, you and I are to believe that the tax cap will undermine our quality of life and hurt our kids. However, the reality is that we can control spending and taxation levels, still provide all of the supports and services we have come to know and expect, and still have cost predictability for taxpayers. We just need to fix the laws that govern cost structures. We outlined those changes in the Let New York Work agenda, http://www.unshackleupstate.com/news/press-releases/let-ny-work.
Don’t believe the hype and the sky-is-falling rhetoric. Don’t buy into the scare tactics that are employed to make you lose track of your emotions. We can, and we will, fix spending and taxation levels in new York. And we will do it the right way, the way that benefits all New Yorkers, not just a few.