Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gov. Offers Conciliatory Words, But at What Cost?

While I welcome the tone of humility in the Governor’s second State of the State Address, I fear his conciliatory words carry a hefty price tag.

Former Governor Mario Cuomo was fond of saying that “you campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose.” Today we heard some lofty rhetoric, but we don’t need more words – we need a healthy dose of reality: overtaxed, overregulated, overburdened New Yorkers can’t afford the billions in new government spending the Governor outlined in his speech today.

The Governor was correct in saying “economic storm clouds are gathering” – they are. It’s a “perfect storm” of high taxes, gas prices and tolls that threatens to swamp New Yorkers who are already working harder and longer, just to keep their heads above water.

Although I commend the Governor for admitting that property taxes are at a crisis level in New York State, I believe he should have gone further than just calling for a commission on enacting a property tax cap. Quite frankly, I don't think I've seen a punting unit called out that quickly since Super Bowl XXV.

With all due respect to the Governor, I believe this issue has already been “commissioned to death.” We already know what the problem is – a crippling, crushing property tax burden that hurts most those who can afford it the least. We can’t allow a property tax cap to become bogged down in a commission. New Yorkers, literally, can’t afford to wait any longer.

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