I am disgusted at what Gov. George Pataki and his cronies in the State Senate are doing with our tax dollars. They talk of being fiscally conservative, pushing for a small income tax cut. But the past eight years show this minimal income tax cut has been far outweighed by other taxes and user fees directly inflicted on the taxpayers, and the more burdensome unfunded state mandates imposed on our schools and local governments that are passed on to the public in our property tax bills.
In 1994, when I lived in the Albany area, I found that the main issue that helped to elect Pataki was his call for relief from unfunded state mandates. At that time, the most prevalent mandate was the Environmental Conservation Law, forcing municipalities to close their open dump landfills in favor of more secure, regional landfills coupled with a waste recycling program. The cost of this mandate was accompanied by a significant benefit to the environment.
Since Pataki took office, it is amazing to see how many more recalcitrant, unfunded state mandates he has forced upon the taxpayers. Local county governments have been forced to pay increased costs for their Health Department, Social Services and especially Medicaid, just to name a few. That which Pataki once opposed, he is now guilty of doing 10 times over!
Pataki and his cronies do not look at the dollars taken away from New York State families when they pass these unfunded mandates. They gloss over the issues, making them sound like a good thing. Their legislation costs taxpayers much more than we get back.
JAMES A. SACCO JR.