FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Bachmeier, (845) 200-9716
BALL, ASTORINO & CASTELLI CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION ON UNFUNDED MANDATE RELIEF
Valhalla, N.Y. – 10/01/2012 – With the possibility of a special session in the near future, Senator Greg Ball (Patterson – R, C) hosted a press conference to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature to take an up-or-down vote before January 1, 2013 to pass a comprehensive mandate relief package.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Assemblyman Robert Castelli, Legislator Michael Smith and Mount Pleasant Supervisor Joan Maybury all joined Senator Greg Ball at the press conference.
“The pressing issue of property tax relief is directly linked to our ability to deliver comprehensive and lasting mandate relief to our school districts and local governments. From burdensome testing requirements, local reporting nightmares, administrative bureaucracy to very specific and costly MS4 requirements there are a myriad of opportunities for Albany to deliver relief,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Step one begins with doing no more harm and immediately ending legislative action on all future unfunded mandates. Step two is to hold a special session and require an up or down vote on a comprehensive mandate relief package.”
Those that joined for Monday’s press conference agreed that the passage of the 2% Property Tax Cap has created the urgent need for the state government to deal with the mounting and crushing burden of unfunded mandates.
“Nine state mandates alone currently consume 82% of Westchester County’s tax levy and the situation is expected to be even worse next year. Albany needs to deliver real mandate relief and deliver it now – otherwise there won’t be any money at all left to take care of local needs,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino.
“The unfunded mandates came from Albany, and it is our responsibility to make them go away,” Assemblyman Castelli said. “Our Governor has proven that he has the intestinal fortitude to lead from the front. We need our colleagues to do the same thing. We need a special session, and we need it to deal with unfunded mandates exclusively. We are asking our colleagues to have the intestinal fortitude to call for that special session. We know the Governor can lead from the front, we would like to see our colleagues in both houses do the same.”
“As a town supervisor here in Mount Pleasant I am currently putting together a budget and it is a very difficult to stay within the two percent cap with the mandates that we have in place,” said Supervisor Joan Maybury.
“While the 2 percent property tax cap was relatively easy to pass, passing unfunded mandate relief will take very hard decisions,” said Legislator Michael Smith. “While tier 6 was a step in the right direction we need real unfunded mandate relief now, not ten years down the road.”
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200 9716.
— Joe Bachmeier