Several months ago, I was appointed by President Sam Teresi of the New York Conference of Mayors to serve on a mayoral task force on mandate and property tax relief.
I'm very proud to have been selected to be one of 20 mayors from across our state to prepare a platform of recommendations on this very vital issue to present Governor-elect Cuomo as he readies to take office next month. The result of our task force is entitled, "You Can't Cap What You Can't Control."
As you are well aware, almost everybody running for state office this year spoke of a tax cap. NYCOM supports that idea; however, we need relief on unfunded mandates in order to be able to have a cap on spending.
We publicly announced our recommendations in news conferences across the state last week in an attempt to educate the public about the results of our committees work and how crucial substantial change to the cost drivers created by our state government is needed.
The bottom line is that New York state over the years has implemented a number of mandates, with good intentions, which have outlived their times or are in dire need of updating to today's business environment. Bottom line is that the state can no longer fund its mandates - that burden has been squarely placed on the backs of local taxpayers - while the state government continues to spend money it doesn't have, creating a very serious financial environment for all levels of government.
Our recommendations are consistent with our governor-elect's campaign agenda on many of these same issues and our hope is to all work together to right a sinking ship. Albany can no longer continue to do business as usual. We are one of the highest taxed states in the country. We can change that by working together with everyone suffering a little bit of the pain instead of some suffering all of the pain.