Young Announces Affordability Agenda

A plan that entails lower income, property and energy taxes has been unveiled by Sen. Cathy Young and the state Senate majority.

The plan also calls for lower taxes on retirement, controlling spending and measures to prevent tax increases. Young, R-Olean, said the Affordability Agenda is all about reducing the tax burden on the people. Young said progress has been made in cutting taxes, but more can be done.

“We lead the charge to put in a middle class income tax cut,” she said.

With the tax cut, the relief will reach $4.2 billion a year and will reduce middle class tax rates by 20 percent for employees and small businesses. Young said that is important because a main focus this year is to “grow jobs.”

Young said the agenda also focuses on making the property tax cap permanent. She said the cap has already saved taxpayers $23 billion. The Senate has also acted on legislation that would bring about a permanent 2 percent spending cap on the government.

“We need to have a fiscally responsible government,” Young said. “These are policies that we think are very beneficial in New York state.”

Young said the agenda will also eliminate gross receipt taxes on utilities and assessment tax on utility bills. Legislation will also be put forth that would require a supermajority vote on state legislation that will increase taxes, as well as a proposed constitutional amendment that will ban unfunded mandates and reduce existing mandates.

The agenda is part of a three-part initiative called the “Blueprint for a Stronger New York.” The initiative will include plans that will reduce taxes and improve factors that will make it easier to raise a family, retire or own a home in New York. The second and third parts are titled “Opportunity” and “Security” agendas.

Young said the agenda was a good way to “stake a claim.”

“We want to get ahead of the curve,” she said.

Young said the budget hearings will start on Jan. 23. She said 13 hearings will be held, which she will preside over. She said the commissioner of each agency comes in to testify during the hearings, and later, subcommittee meetings are held. Each house will pass a budget position formally, and then negotiations will begin.

This year, Young said the senate is concerned about jobs, education and development dollars.

“Every day, I hear from the people across my district that even though we have made progress on taxes, more can be done,” she said.